|Jabulani Maluleke © Gallo Images
Jabulani Maluleke scored a first-half brace to inspire Polokwane City to a 3-1 win over Golden Arrows at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday.
The result is a major boost to Rise and Shine’s hopes of finishing in the top eight, while Abafana Bes’thende have now lost three of their last five league matches and look in danger of missing out on a top-half placing.
Polokwane claimed the lead as early as the second minute, with Jabulani Maluleke scoring direct from a free kick on the edge of the box. The set piece was awarded after a foul from Danny Phiri.
Arrows reacted well to going behind and put together several promising attacking moves before they were rewarded with a penalty: Lerato Lamola was upended in the box to bring about a spot kick.
Abafana Bes’thende skipper Musa Bilankulu took on the responsibility of the spot kick and made no mistake, beating George Chigova to make it 1-1 in the 14th minute.
The teams were evenly matched through the rest of the first half, but just a minute before the break Rise and Shine reclaimed the lead at 2-1 when Maluleke scored his brace, firing home after a mistake from Nkanyiso Mngwengwe in the box.
Seven minutes into the second half City made it 3-1 when Vusimuzi Mngomezulu took advantage of some sub-par defending to put the ball beyond the reach of Nkosingiphile Gumede.
Arrows looked to fight back as soon as they could manage, with Danny Phiri shooting just wide, while on the hour mark they boosted their attack with the introductions of Knox Mutizwa and Andile Fikizolo.
The Durban side created plenty of chances and really should have challenged their hosts for all three points, but a combination of poor execution in the final third and some good goalkeeping from Chigova ensured the hosts claimed the victory.
Polokwane City (3) 3 (Maluleke 2’ 44’, Mngomezulu 52’)
Golden Arrows (1) 1 (Bilankulu 14’ pen)
Polokwane: Chigova, Semenya, Hlongwane, Tema, Mbonani, Phiri, Seabi, Ramagalela, Musona (Jembula 77’), Maluleke, Mngomezulu (Ndou 82’)
Arrows: Gumede, R. Dlamini, Mngwengwe, Mzava, S. Dube (Msowoya 74’), Bilankulu, Dikgacoi (Mutizwa 60’), Sibeko, Phiri, Mahachi, Lamola (Fikizolo 60’)
This article was sourced from the PSL website.