WATCH: Thanda Royal Zulu ‘record’ final win

Thanda’s Khotso Malope (17) about to strike the goal that gave his side a 2-1 win over Real Kings on Sunday Photo: Larry Bentley

THANDA Royal Zulu wrapped up their victorious 2016/2017 NFD campaign in style with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Real Kings on Sunday.

In the process, they took their season’s points tally to 62, a new record for the first division.

The match was played in atrocious, wet and windy conditions, which did not suit the Amabhubesi’s style of keeping the ball on the carpet but they got to grips with things as the game proceeded.

Amabhubesi’s Michael Gumede and Real Kings’ captain Siphiwe Mbatha fight each other – and the conditions – for control of the ball

With head coach Roger Sikhakhane in hospital it was left to Sello Ntuli to bark out the instructions and he got them back on track after they went behind to a superb Real Kings first half strike.

Mhlengi Cele ensured parity with an excellent far post header before Khotso Malope fired one from the edge of the box that was too hot to handle for ex-Thanda goalkeeper Samkelo Mbambo, who only managed to deflect it into the net.

But while the plaudits go to the strikers, who netted 52 goals in the course of the season, praise must go to the incredibly resolute Thanda defenders who throughout the entire season conceded just 24 goals.

Both the ‘for’ and ‘against’ stats were the best in the league.

The final whistle brought with it the presentation of the new NFD trophy and the end of a fantastic campaign in which the Amabhubesi did not lose a single home game and were only beaten twice in 30 fixtures.

With a number of other crucial games also played on Sunday, the final promotion and relegation positions were established.

Black Leopards (2nd) and Stellenbosch (3rd) will fight it out for the second PSL place, while Magesi FC and Santos have gone down.


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Dave Savides

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