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KZN hold off Free State fightback

KZN hold off Free State fightback
Steve Michaels of Kwa Zulu Natal challenged by Mbuyiselo Thetani of Free State during the mathc between Kwazulu Natal (G) and Free State (B) at the SAB U21 National Championships being held at the North West University Stadium on the 13 July 2014

by Staff Reporter

Sunday Jul 13, 2014. 16:07

KwaZulu-Natal got their 2014 SAB Under-21 National Championship off to a winning start when they held on for a 2-1 win over a ten men Free State side on Sunday afternoon.

Sphamandla Mazubane fired Nhlanhla Ngema’s side ahead midway through the first half and Kwanele Hlongwane doubled the lead from the penalty spot before Sello Mokhelepulled one goal back for Free State.

Mazubane opened the scoring in the 24th minute when he raced into the box from the midfield before calmly lobbing the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.

KwaZulu-Natal dominated the rest of the first half but failed to increase their lead and had to be content with their slender 1-0 advantage at the break.

Free State were then reduced to ten men in the 57th minute when goalkeeper Majatso Xaba was given his marching orders after he was adjudged to have fouled Samkele Ngubane inside the box.

Hlongwane stepped up to take the resulting penalty kick, sending replacement goalkeeper Nicholas Magawu the wrong way.

KZN failed to make their numerical advantage count and instead it was the ten men of Free State who stepped up a gear and eventually reduced the deficit through a well-taken goal from Mokhele.

Litre Mokitlane’s side threw everything at their opponents in the final stretch of the game in search of what would have been an impressive equaliser, but the young men from KwaZulu-Natal were able to keep them at bay to collect all three points.

KwaZulu-Natal (1) 2 (Mazubane 24’, Hlongwane, pen. 57’)

Free State (0) 1 (Mokhele 75’)

KwaZulu-Natal: Lungwase, Nyawu, Hlongwane (Morris 70’), Sithebe, Mnguni, Michaels, Abrahams (Bhengu 72’), Mazubane, Sithole (Ngubane 55’), Mkhize, Ndlovu

Free State: Xaba, Modise (Mohlakoane 69’), Mogorosi, Thethani, Mofokeng, Machabane, Mokhele, Mokhabi, Russell (Magawu 56’), Selumetse