AMAZULU’S chances of clinching the league championship, which only recently looked extremely bright, took a nasty knock yesterday when Sporting Lions beat the Bulawayo-based
outfit in a thrilling match at Rufaro Stadium. Usuthu are in second position on the log with 45 points, one behind Highlanders. Both teams have played 24 matches each.
Usuthu had looked well poised to clinch the championship with only two points adrift of Bosso and two games in hand. The two games have however gone up in smoke as Amazulu managed only a single point from a goal-less draw with Caps United last week.
A well-drilled Sporting Lions ran riot right from the first whistle and duly went ahead in the 5th minute. Veteran midfielder Charles Chilufya hit the roof of the net from inside the penalty box to convert a hard and low cross from left back Francis Madziva. Usuthu diligently responded with a disciplined and well-composed type of play.
Sporting goalkeeper Britto Gwere dived to save a close range shot by Norman Komani in the 14th minute. It wasn’t however long before the equaliser came through a volley by James Phiri at the end of a move involving strikers Komani and Sageby Sandaka.
With many Highlanders and Dynamos fans in the 5 000-strong crowd cheering on Sporting, the world slowly crumbled around Usuthu, who had to contend with delaying and intimidating tactics both on and off the pitch.
Amazulu got the sucker punch in the 31st minute when Romeo Kabesha notched home a curling shot from the edge of the box after being set by Saviours Tom past a stranded Dominic Sithole in goals for Usuthu.