Augustine Mulenga of AmaZulu. Picture: GAVIN BARKER/GALLO IMAGES
Augustine Mulenga of AmaZulu. Picture: GAVIN BARKER/GALLO IMAGES

AmaZulu defender Tapelo Xoki scored a wonderful last-gasp free-kick in referee’s optional time to give the home side victory over Bloemfontein Celtic in a breathtaking seven-goal thriller at Kings Park in Durban on Tuesday.

The 4-3 win was the third in a row for Usuthu, who have now cemented their place in the top half of the Premiership ahead of starting their second round of league fixtures.

AmaZulu allowed Celtic to come back from two goals down to force the game to a 3-3 stalemate before Xoki completed his brace in the fourth minute of added time with a superb  set-piece that gave Sipho Chaine in Phunya Sele Sele’s goal no chance.

Goals from Augustine Mulenga‚ Siyethemba Sithebe and Xoki gave AmaZulu a 3-1 lead but two late goals from Victor Letsoalo (77th minute) and Harris Tchilimbou (89th) looked to have earned Celtic a second successive stalemate against Usuthu. Tchilimbou had initially cancelled Mulenga’s 12th minute opener in the 30th minute before Usuthu extended their lead early in the second half.

The run of victories is a welcome change of fortune for AmaZulu, who usually flirt with relegation. However, things are looking up after the club was bought by businessman Sandile Zungu, who has invested wisely in coaches and players.

Certainly‚ the new owner’s wish that Usuthu should finish in the top four this season looks on course if coach Benni McCarthy’s team can keep their fine form going in the second half of the 2020/2021 campaign.

AmaZulu will shift their focus at the weekend when they play Durban neighbours Lamontville Golden Arrows in the last-16 of the Nedbank Cup on Saturday.

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