Maulers pounce on hapless Usuthu

Durban - Amazulus relegation worries were compounded yesterday when they lost their Castle Premier League match 2-1 to local rivals Manning Rangers at Kings Park Soccer Stadium.

The teams turned around all sqaure 1-1 at half time and with only three minutes of regulation time remaining it seemeed odds-on that the score would be a repeat of their clash at the Chatsworth Stadium in December. But the next moment Rangers striker Gilbert Mushanghazike pipped in the Amazulu goalmuth to score the winner.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for acting Amazulu coach Gavin Lane after the Usuthu had looked the slightly better side in the second half with a strong wind at their backs.

"I thought we deserved the draw" said Lane, "but we relaxed too early and were punished for it"

Rangers coach Gordon Igesund took a different view of it saying, "We were the beter side and the winning goal from the set peice was a beauty, something we had practised and were pleased to see it come off."

Rangers were first off the mark in the 5th minute in their first attack when Bruce Ramokadi played a ball through a gap in the Amazulu defence to Fees Moloi who diagonal shot across the face of goal entered the net at the far post, totally decieving the goalkeeper.

Amazulu ouight to have equalised in the 23rd minute when a Ernest Marumo lunged at a cross from Tsepo Ntsoane but he only succeeded in skying the ball high over the crossbar. Their deserved equaliser came in the 31st minute when Ntsoane again served up Marumo who this time composed himself and carried the ball forward before driving an unstoppable shot past goalkeeper Grant Johnson.

Both coaches brought on a series of substitutes in the second half in an attempt to break the deadlock but the score seemed destined to end 1-1. The set peice referred to by Igesund was a long throw in out on the right by the reliable Robbie Milne which was back headed into the Amazulu area by captain Helder Muianga.

While the Amazu defenders stood still, Mushanghazike sized up the situation in a twinkling and pounced on the loose ball, stabbing it into the back of the net.