November 28 2013 at 08:51am By Tshepang Mailwane
Johannesburg – Sivutsa Stars became the first club to inflict the pain of defeat on table-toppers Milano United on Wednesday while bottom of the table outfit Thanda Royal Zulu hit a new low as they conceded four goals for the third consecutive match in the National First Division (NFD).
Milano stayed top of the table despite the defeat to their Mpumalanga-based opponents, but their gap at the summit has now been reduced to five points after second-placed Chippa United bounced back from a loss to Baroka last weekend to beat Black Leopards 2-1, moving to 21 points.
Sivutsa capitalised on their one-man advantage after Milano’s Taariq Fielies was sent off in the second half. Rendani Ndou scored the winner three minutes from time for Sivutsa, who registered only their third victory after 11 matches – they are on 14 points.
At uMhlathuze Stadium in KZN, Thanda lost to FC Cape Town – their eighth defeat in 11 matches – in the bottom of the table clash to remained the NFD’s last-placed side on five points.
After taking a one goal lead into the break, Thanda must have thought their six match winless run would come to an end. But the visitors came out for the second half with renewed vigour, putting four past their hapless opponents to move four points clear of the KZN club and one place up from 15th place. Simphiwe Gwala, Jarrod Maroole and a brace from former Free State Stars striker Moeketsi Mvula guided Duncan Lechesa’s FC Cape Town to what turned out to be a comfortable victory over troubled Thanda, who have now conceded 21 goals after 11 matches.
The last time Thanda won a match was on September 29, when they beat Vasco da Gama 1-0 at home. The pressure will surely have mounted on coach Ronnie Moroka, who replaced Mlungisi Ngubane early this month, after a third straight defeat at the helm.
Meanwhile Jomo Cosmos failed to build on their victory over Blackburn Rovers last weekend as they suffered their third defeat of the campaign which now leaves them on 11 points after 10 matches. Brent Adonis got the goal that helped move Vasco to within eight points of the leaders Milano, who are on 26.
Rookies Baroka FC succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against Witbank Spurs at Puma Rugby Stadium in Mpumalanga, just four days after they had beaten high-flyers Chippa.
The Cape side, Chippa, visited Leopards at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium and striker Andile Mbenyane scored either side of half time for the Chilli Boys to get their title challenge back on track.
In other matches on Wednesday, United FC gave Maluti FET College a footballing lesson with a 4-1 battering at Charles Mopeli Stadium.
Joshua Sauls and Thulani Khwinana each scored and Strydom Wambi netted a brace for United FC for their fourth victory which moved them to sixth place.