First half strikes from Burds and Chapman saw AmaTuks hand log leaders Thanda Royal Zulu their first loss of the season with a convincing 2-0 win at the Tuks Stadium on a wet Saturday Afternoon.
AmaTuks started the match like a team on a mission and had the first goal scoring opportunity as early as the 3rd minute when Koert found himself one-on-one with the keeper but Ngcobo got down well and snatched the ball from Koert's feet on the edge of the 6 yard box. Three minutes later the defence failed to clear a cross from Leonard on the right flank and the ball found Burds at the far post but his attempt to cut the ball back for the onrushing Koert was intercepted. two minutes after that leonard's cross again found Burds at the far post but his shot rattled the side netting.
With AmaTuks committed forward Thanda launched a counter attack and the accurate shot at goal from outside the penalty box had Van Der Linder back paddling to position but he got up well to palm the ball over the crossbar for a corner kick. AmaTuks conceded a free kick to the left of the penalty box. The free kick deflected from the wall to a Thanda Royal Zulu player who's long range shot was heading to the top right corner of goal but Van der Linde was equal to the challenge, getting fingertips to the ball and deflecting it to Leonard who cleared the danger.
In the 16th minute Koert had consecutive one-on-one opportunities and in teh first he tried to pass the ball under the diving keeper but Ngcobo got down well to block the ball and in the second Koert tried to round the keeper but again Ngcobo was quick off his line a snatched the ball from Koert's feet.
In the 25th minute a lunging tackle from Macheke got a good chunk of Dias' shin just outside the penalty box. Burd lined up the free kick and beat Ngcobo on the top left corner for the opening goal of the match. AmaTuks continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded in the 44th minute when Chapman received a long ball on the edge of the penalty arc, controlled it with his chest and turned two defenders. With only Ngcobo to beat he slotted the ball past the keeper's left hand and the ball snuck in at the foot of the upright to double the lead for the host just before the halt time break.
On the hour mark Mahlangu attempted to shield the ball out for a goal kick but Ngobeni was able to bundle him off the ball and put in a head high cross which beat Van Der Linde but Leonard was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Van Der Linde could not shake off the knock on his hip and had to be replaced in the 71st minute by Hawes. Minutes after coming on everyone's attention was on the 4th official who indicated eight minutes of additional time to be played. Thanda took advantage of this lapse in concentration and played a quick korner kick and after a brief goal mouth scramble the ball snuck past Hawes but again Leonard was on hand to hoof the ball off the goal line to the center of the park. That looked to be the last threatening move from Thanda as AmaTuks worked to retain the ball to see off the remaining minutes to hand the Thanda Royal Zulu their first loss of the season.
The result sees the team move up to 5th position on the log table on 29 points, equal with Royal Eagles and Jomo Cosmos who are sitting in 3rd and 4th position on the log respectively.
AmaTuks will next travel to the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium to face Real Kings who walked away with a point after a 2-all draw in the first round at the Tuks Stadium.
AmaTuks 2 (0) Burds 25', Chapman 44'
Thanda Royal Zulu 0 (0)
AmaTuks XI: Van Der Linde (Hawes 71' ), Mthethwa, Mahlangu, October, Moloi, Leonard, Burds, Poggenpoel, Dias (Sangweni 56'), Koert (Gordinho 81'), Chapman
Thanda XI: Ngcobo, Mkhwanazi (Ntuli 69'), Maela, Konqobe, Macheke, Komane, Cele M, Nene, Lukhele (Nkoana 46'), Ncobeni, Malope (Dlamini S 48'),