Santos made it two wins from two games as they secured a 3-1 win over struggling Golden Arrows at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday evening.
|Jonathan Armogam © Backpagepix
The Cape side were always in command as far as the score-line went, taking a two goal lead into half time, and replying quickly after Arrows pulled back a goal with 20 minutes to go.
Both sides had suffered, somewhat surprisingly considering their pedigree, indifferent starts to the season and were in desperate need of points.
Ernst Middendorp’s outfit could have eased nerves with an early goal, but Musa Bilankulu sent a early header over the bar, following Katlego Mashego’s second minute corner.
It was the Peoples’ Team however who were to score the first goal of the game, via a rare strike from left back Ricardo Skippers, who headed home Jonathan Armogam’s well-flighted 11th minute cross.
After the goal, the match remained tight, and developed into a physical contest as tackles flew in and both sides conceded regular fouls and free kicks – all the while, neither goal coming under threat.
The Cape side had not showed too much in attack – at least in that Arrows keeper Virgil Vries was hardly called into action.
But the Peoples’ team were to forge further ahead on the half hour mark when Tawonga Chimodzi played in Vuyisile Wana, who slotted home from close range.
Wana tried his luck again five minutes later, but had his shot blocked by a defender, while at the other end, Njabulo Manqana forced Tshepo Motsoeneng into a diving save with a 20-yard effort.
Following the restart, Abafana Bes’thende came out firing as they looked to play themselves back into the game.
Crosses and shots rained in on the Santos defence, but the Cape side held firm, with some brave defending and a couple of good saves from Motsoeneng – one of which saw him doing well to keep out a long range rocket from Philani Shange after 52 minutes.
The pressure finally paid off for the hosts as they earned a 71st minute penalty after Wayne Arendse fouled Collins Mbesuma.
Mbesuma’s spot kick was however saved by Motsoeneng, but from the resultant corner from Njabulo Manqana, Tamsanqa Gabuza hammered the ball into the net from 25-yards out.
But hopes of a comeback were quashed 10 minutes later when Wana located substitute Salmaan King, who picked his spot from the edge of the box to make it 3-1.
The KZN side had several opportunities to pull another goal back in the dying minutes, including an effort from six yards out from Mbesuma, but the score-line remained unchanged.
Golden Arrows (0) 1 (Gabuza 71’)
Santos (2) 3 (Skippers 11’, Wana 31’, King )
Arrows: (4-4-2) Vries; Musonda, Bilankulu, Johannes, Tom; Shange (Sheppard 89’), Khuboni, Manqana; Nene (Nkosi 69’); Mashego, Mbesuma
Santos (4-4-2): Motsoeneng; Basie (Macala 84’), W Arendse, van Beulen, Skippers; Armogam, Kefile, Chimodzi (T Arendse 57’), Songwiqi (King 67’); Isaacs, Wana