Cape Town - Home side Cape Town City held out for a slender 4-3 DStv Premiership win over Lamontville Golden Arrows in a seven-goal thriller for their first home of the season at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.
In the afternoon’s other match, an own goal from TS Galaxy’s Bathusi Aubaas handed Maritzburg United their third win in the league, which saw them move inside the top eight.
City lead 3-0 at the break and that advance laid the foundation for the eventual win, more so after they added a fourth goal without reply early in the second half.
As it turned out, their fourth goal turned out to be an insurance goal after Arrows bounced back in the final 25 minutes of the match with a three-goal spell and threatened to take the match from City.
The start was a fast-paced affair as players oozed enterprise and intensity. Although Arrows posed the early threat in the opening minute it was City's innovative strategy that prevailed. In the opening 15 minutes, City managed three shots on goal after their exciting style of play.
Although this pressure did not yield results, City's high press on the back of accurate, crisp inter-passing posed problems for Arrows defence who frequently lost their structure. With City's sorties, they added numbers at the point of attack. The ploy paid dividends when right-back Thamsanqa Mkhize scored one of two goals that were scored in the space of as many minutes from the 22nd minute.
City's speed of ball movement saw central striker Fagrie Lakay open the score after he latched on to an innocuous kick, hoofed upfield from inside City's half. Two minutes later Mkhize stalked into the attack unmarked and gained control of another long ball before he rounded two opponents to snatch City's second goal (2-0).
Arrows handed City a third goal on a platter after a back pass to their Namibian goalkeeper Maximilian Mbaeva. City midfielder Mduduzi Mdantsane charged Mbaeva as he attempted to clear but his effort was blocked. Mdantsane pounced on the stray ball before lobbing the ball into the net, six minutes ahead of the halftime break.
City was on the boil as soon as second-half play resumed and came close to adding to the score after striker Amethyst Ralani and midfielder Mduduzi Mdatsene came close with attempts.
However, goals followed on either side of the hour mark as each side were on target in a hectic three-minute spell. First striker Craig Martin scored after City staged a lightning-fast break out from deep inside their half in the 58th minute.
Three minutes later, Arrows staged a telling counter-attack down the left flank and left back Sbonelo Cele rounded the defence out wide before supplying a goalmouth feed. Midfielder Pule Mmodi was well up with play and slammed the ball into the roof of the net as City's backpedalling defence failed to offer resistance (4-1).
With City's fourth goal they managed to score more goals in one match than the three they scored in the opening six Premiership matches.
City survived a scare when Arrows' fightback produced two goals in the final 11 minutes, but they held to bag the three match points on offer. First Nkosinathi Sibisi scored from the 'spot' and then Nqobeko Dlamini grabbed a third goal.
For Arrows, it was a case of too little, too late!