Starting XIs: TS Galaxy v Richards Bay
NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 01: Mlungisi Mbunjana of TS Galaxy FC during the DStv Premiership match between TS Galaxy and Richards Bay at Mbombela Stadium on October 01, 2023 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images)
TS Galaxy missed the chance to get into the top eight on the DStv Premiership table after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Richards Bay on Sunday afternoon.
Galaxy gave former Kaizer Chiefs striker Samir Nurkovic his debut in the line-up, as they also recalled Higor Vidal and Sphiwe Mahlangu in the three changes from a goalless draw against Cape Town City.
The Natal Rich Boyz, meanwhile, were boosted by the return of Lucky Mohomi, in the only change following their 2-1 loss to Chippa United.
The Rockets had a bright start as Sphiwe Mahlangu sent them ahead inside the first five minutes with a first-time volley at the back post after a lofted pass by Vidal.
Kaitano Tembo's charges took time to get into the game but their high press yielded them the equaliser just before the half-hour mark after Langelihle Mhlongo dispossessed Mlungisi Mbunjana trying to play from the back, went through on goal and fired a low shot across goalkeeper Vasilije Kolak.
The game opened up after that and Vidal had a good chance to restore the lead for Sead Ramovic's troops just before the break after shot-stopper Salim Magoola spiller a cross by Nurkovic but the Brazilian's toe-poked shot missed wide from close-range.
NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 01: Mpho Mvelase of TS Galaxy FC during the DStv Premiership match between TS Galaxy and Richards Bay at Mbombela Stadium on October 01, 2023 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images),/T¸Þhó
However, neither side could take the game by the scruff of the neck early in the second stanza, with the battle fierce in midfield and on 67 minutes, Abdi Banda was the casualty after he was in a middle of two players going for the same ball and he was stretchered off down the tunnel and replaced by Sibusiso Mthethwa.
However, the game came back to life in the closing stages as Kganyane Letsoenyo almost restored the lead for Galaxy with a free header in the box that was tipped wide by Magoola at full-stretch.
Richards Bay also fancied their chances to bag maximum points with ten minutes to go as Sinethemba Mngomezulu, who had just replaced Somila Ntsundwana upfront, came close with a low strike across goal that was parried away by Kolak.
The game was there for the taking in the dying minutes and Justice Figuareido almost snatched the winner for the visitors after going through on goal but his left-footed shot missed the far post just wide.
The sides shared the spoils in the end, as Galaxy moved up to 11th spot on the table while Richards Bay remained second-from-bottom.
TS Galaxy: Kolak, Mvelase, Letsoenyo, M. Mahlangu, Sanoka, Mbunjana, Parker, Vidal, Mbatha, S. Mahlangu, Nurkovic.
Subs: Ntwari, Sebelebele, Seema, Gabuza, Mojela, Siladi, Munyai, Radebe, Mere.
Richards Bay: Magoola, Dlamini, Mabua, Banda, Dube, Komane, Barns, Mhlongo, Figareido, Mohome, Ntsundwana
Subs: Manqele, Maphathe, Mthethwa, Miya, Koapeng, Mabaso, Mthembu, Mngomezulu, Mbuthuma
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