Cape Town - Vasco da Gama endured some testing times late on in their game against Golden Arrows at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday night but managed to hold on for a 1-0 win.
After Mokete Tsotestsi scored with 25 minutes to go, the pressure from the visiting side was relentless, but somehow the Cape Town side held firm to break a seven game winless streak.
Arrows had the first chance of the game, in the eighth minute, when Nhlanhla Sithole burst through the centre of the Vasco defence as if it didn’t exist, but he ended up shanking his shot well wide.
After that it was the home side who started to take the attacking initiative, spending more time in the Arrows half.
However, their balls into the box were more hopeful than emphatic and the KZN side’s defence didn’t have too many problems.
In the absence of Sibusiso Zuma (injured), Bradley August became the main target-man, doing well to win several aerial balls but just failing to link up with Keenin Lesch on a few occasions.
When Josephy Kamwendo found himself clear down the left hand flank in the 27th minute the Malawian midfielder’s shot was iscued.
Abafana Bes’thende however were always a potential threat on the break and they were ever so close to scoring four minutes before the break.
The chance again fell to Sithole, but having done really well to jink past a couple of defenders in the box he sent in a shot which struck the bottom of the upright before the ball flew across the goal-mouth and back into play.
The first chance of the second half fell to the hosts – a 55th minute short corner was played to Cole Alexander, who located the head of Francois Adams, but his effort was just wide.
Goal keeper Thulasizwe Khuzwayo was found wanting at Alexander’s delivery, and when Vasco opened the scoring two minutes later, he was again at fault.
This time Khuzwayo failed to get a hand on Kamwendo’s in-swinging corner which enabled Tsotestsi to power home a header.
Arrows were close to an equaliser in the 69th minute when Mzivukile Tom’s shot from the edge of the area went just wide, with Omony scurrying across worryingly.
There was more concern for the Cape side in the 74th minute when Collins Mbesuma hustled his way through to goal, Omony doing well to palm away his right-footed drive.
Sithole then came close in the 78th minute when his low curler of a shot was pushed away by Omony, a fine save from the Ugandan, who was coming increasingly under pressure.
Then with three minuets to go Omony again saved the day for Vasco as he denied Njabulo Manqana right in front of goal, after some sloppy defending.
There were several more scares for the hosts, but they held on until the final whistle, after which time there was much celebration.
Vasco da Gama (0) 1 (Tsotestsi 57’)
Golden Arrows (0) 0
Vasco (4-5-1): Omony; Hempe, Adams, Tsotetsi, Jenniker, Mothibantwa (Zongo 66’) Lesch, Kamwendo (Hendricks 81’), Alexander, Armogam; August (Walaza 90’ + 2)
Arrows (4-4-2): Khuzwayo; Tom, Musonda, Bilankulu, Zwane; Khuboni, Manqana, Duiker (Gabuza 72’), Sithole; Mbesuma, Murakami (Mlotshwa 59’)