Namibia sharpshooter Shalulile seals victory for Highlands Park

Johannesburg (AFP) –


Namibia forward Peter Shalulile scored to seal a 2-0 South African Premiership win for Highlands Park over Polokwane City Sunday and end a goal drought between the clubs.

The sides met twice recently in a two-leg semi-final of a knockout competition and both matches finished goalless before Highlands won on penalties.

Shalulile, who played for his country at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, intercepted a clearance and rifled a rising shot past Zimbabwe goalkeeper George Chigova during stoppage time.

It was the sixth league goal in six matches this season for the Namibian, making the 26-year-old the leading Premiership scorer with one more than his nearest rivals.

Highlands took the lead on 22 minutes when Polokwane failed to clear a long throw and Mothobi Mvala netted via a close range shot.

Victory lifted Highlands Park four places to fifth and stretched an unbeaten league run to five matches after losing at home to Kaizer Chiefs in the opening round.

"We were very disciplined, organised and structured," boasted Highlands coach Owen da Gama, a former forward with Irish club Derry City.

He must, however, have been concerned by a 27-foul count and six yellow cards ahead of the biggest match in the recent history of the club next weekend.

- Akpeyi stars -

Highlands Park will play SuperSport United in Soweto in the final of a knockout competition with an eight million rand ($530,000/480,000 euros) winners-take-all prize up for grabs.

Polokwane began the match needing a two-goal win to overtake leaders Kaizer Chiefs but were unable to stamp their authority at a ground 40 kilometres (25 miles) northeast of Johannesburg

On Saturday, Chiefs were lucky 1-0 winners at home to Baroka in Soweto with a number of fine saves by Nigerian Daniel Akpeyi and the woodwork thwarting their 11th-place opponents.

Akpeyi came off the bench during the opening half after injury-prone Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was forced to retire with a suspected groin strain.

Former South Africa shot-stopper Khune had returned to action only last Tuesday after a lengthy shoulder injury absence.

Orlando Pirates continue to leak goals since promoting former France youth international goalkeeper Joris Delle as they drew 3-3 with Cape Town City in a dramatic Soweto encounter.

Delle has conceded seven goals in two league matches as the Buccaneers struggle in the Premiership, winning only one of their last six matches.

After taking a two-goal lead nine minutes into the first half, Cape Town fell behind soon after half-time before substitute Sean Roberts equalised five minutes from time.