Arsenal Football Club have advance to the Semi Final stage of the Durban Under 19 International Football Tournament after beating Golden Arrows by 1-0 at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Monday, 01 August 16.
Arrows arrived for this encounter very confident as they were leading Group A log table with 4 points and Arsenal were sitting at position 3 with 3 points. A game that started with a very slow pace change a tempo in 20th minute after Nelson dribbled through Golden Arrows defence to put Arsenal on lead and the first half ended 1-0 in favour of Arsenal FC.
In the second half with an aim to secure an equaliser, Arrows introduced Kunene in 50th minute who replaced Goldstone. Arsenal continued to apply pressure on Arrows at the 69th minute Da Silva got a free header inside the box but failed to make it count. Upon noticing that Arrows were coming hard on them in 70th minute Arsenal made a double substitution introducing Malen who came in for Gragomir and Mourgos who replaced Da Silva.
The current leading goal scorer for Arsenal Mavididi was taken off in the 79 minutes and was replaced by Nketiah. Golden Arrows quickly introduced Fyn for De Beer. In the 80th minute, Golden Arrows Captain Mkhululi Ncube secured an equaliser for Abafana Besithende bringing the score to 1- 1. Golden Arrows celebration was short lived as Mourgos secured a second goal for Arsenal in the 85th minute. The games ended 2-1 in favour of Arsenal that saw the Gunners advance to the semi-finals. The fight to join Arsenal in the semis continued in the second encounter of Group A where KZN Academy took on Sporting Lisbon. The boys from Portugal secured an early goal in the 15th minute of the first half courtesy of Franco. KZN Academy made an early change, taking out Dlamini and replacing him with Mbele in the 15th munite of the first half.
In the 43th minute KZN Academy bounced back with a beautiful gaol from Daylan Stoffell. This was after a beautiful move by Zola Jingxi and the first half ended 1-1.
During second half Sporting Lisbon continued to apply pressure on KZN Academy and that paid off as they secured an a second gaol in the 48th munite. Sboniso Vilakazi’s boys responded quickly with a beautiful goal by Ujuan’ McDonald bringing the score to 2-2. This changed the tempo of the game as both teams were playing attacking football, at 76 minute secure a third goal bring the score to 3-2. At 82 minutes KZN Academy pulled one back to make it 3 all but it wasn’t to be for the host side as the game ended with 5-4 in favour of Sporting Lisbon. The Lisbon win will see them progress to the semis joining the Gunners at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Thursday, 03 August 2016