Rodney Ramagalela (c) of Polokwane City challenged by Zamuxolo Ngalo (l) and Chris Katjiukua (r) of Highlands Park during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Highlands Park and Polokwane City.
JOHANNESBURG - A second half injury time equaliser by Sipho Jembula, allowed Polokwane City to draw 1-1 with relegation-threatened hosts Highlands Park, in an Absa Premiership match, at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, near Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon.
It took the hosts just two minutes to open the scoring when Namibian Peter Shalulie’s right-footed strike had the beating of City’s Zimbabwean goalkeeper George Chigova with the cross coming from Charlton Mashumba.
Both teams battled for control of the midfield in the first half, in order to action transitional play.
However, it was the hosts who seemed to have the better of the exchanges, in setting up two quality goal scoring opportunities for Mashumba, who was unable to capitalise.
Experienced midfielder Franklyn Kale gave City much defensive work to do, as he proved that despite being on the wrong side of 30, he still has much speed in his legs, plus thunderous strength in his shot on goal or from dead ball situations. From a City perspective, Jabulani Maluleke was a constant thorn in the flesh of the Highlands midfielders, with his creative build-up work.
Both goalkeepers, in Chigova and home side number one Tapuwa Kapini, had to be at their best in a match which carried much in hopes for both teams. While Highlands are desperately trying to get away from the relegation zone, City hold aspirations of a top eight finish, come end of the league season.
Just when Highlands Park coach Gordon Igesund thought that his team was going to record their third win of the season, City winger Jembula left-footed home his fourth goal of the season from a cross by Rodney Ramagalela, to break the hearts of the Highlands fans.
Despite leaking a last minute goal, Highlands Park put in a much-improved performance, and are now on 14 points from 17 games, ahead of their next league encounter, away to Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, February 18. City, on 23 points from 17 matches, will host Ajax Cape Town in Polokwane on the same day.