Chaos and fighting erupted in the match between Junior United FC and Citizen FC in a Thandukukhanya Promotion League stream B match played on Sunday 07 April 2019 at Nkonjaneni Ground, Mkhondo. The exciting match was nearing to an end with less than 5 minutes to go when an ugly fight began between both sides. The score was 4-0 in favour of the visiting title chasers Citizen FC.
The fighting spoilt what was easily the game of the weekend and a contender for game of the season. The hosts Junior United FC wanted to avenge the painful loss suffered in the hands of Citizen FC in a cup match when they lost 1-0 to Citizen FC in the quarter finals of iNtokozo Under 19 Cup in December last year. The visitors wanted to get the three points to keep up the pressure on log leaders Total Football United FC who was playing away to Ajax Blue Birds FC at Ajax.
The match lived up to expectation with entertaining football dished by the two sides in front of a respectable crowd at Nkonjaneni, a small compound on the outskirts of Mkhondo CBD. Lungelo Dukuduku Nkosi (18) scored the opening goal in the 30th minute of the first half after a defensive error by Junior United defence. The home side tried to come back quickly 10 minutes later when Lindokuhle Nxumalo’s (18) well taken volley from outside the box was parried over the bar by Citizen goalkeeper Mandla "Seventeen17" Vilakazi (18). Citizen speedy striker Siyabonga Thela (17) made no mistake when he was put one on one against goalkeeper Holy Simelane to score the second goal for his club. Linda Malinga (25) one of only three over 19 year players in the Citizen line up could have buried the game in the first half but shot wide before the game went into half time.
The 2nd half did not disappoint the fans who had grown in numbers compared drawn to the ground by loud cheers of spectators. The first chance fell into Qomu Sangweni (17) of Junior United who was playing as a striker but his shot went straight to the Citizen keeper with just a minute played. The home team were playing dangerously with a three man defence against the speedy attackers of Citizen. They were punished in the 55th minute by the speedy Siyabonga Thela who shot past keeper Holy to claim his brace and a 3rd goal for his team to lead 3-0.
Junior United did not stop attacking and received a free kick at the edge of the box after Qomu was brought down. The free-kick was taken by goalkeeper Holy but it went just inches out on top of the goalpost. Holy was playing outside of his goal area and getting involved in build ups for Junior United in search of a goal. He lost the ball just the eighteen area in the 79th minute with the score at 3-0. The ball fell to a Citizen player who passed it to teammate Banele “Msimisi” Vilakazi (18) who shot straight to an empty net to make it 4-0.
"The knife was going straight to his neck when his team mate blocked it with his hand and injured his fingers,"
The pace of the match was the same throughout the match and tempers were high. The home team was getting embarrassed in front of their home fans and enemies alike. The match was almost over with 2 minutes to go when chaos erupted in the middle of the field. A scuffle broke out between Msimisi and Mzwandi Phakathi (18) of Junior United with less than two minutes to go. Mzwandi tackled Msimisi from behind causing him to retaliate by holding him with his jersey. The other players rushed to separate the two players but were beaten to it by Junior United FC coach Nduduzo Kunene who arrived first throwing fists to the opposition players.
What followed was a scene that is not good for the game. Everything happened so fast you could not see who was throwing fists and at whom. A player from Citizen FC was badly injured in his hand after blocking a knife which was going to Msimisi. "The knife was going straight to his neck when his team mate blocked it with his hand and injured his fingers," said a witness. The alleged perpetrator is thought to be one of Junior United FC players who was not on the team but was there as a supporter. The beautiful game of football was spoiled by the ugly scenes at the end. In other matches Total Football United FC thrashed Ajax Blue Birds FC 5-1 to stay on top of the log with 71 points after 28 matches played. Citizen FC is behind the log leaders in 2nd place with 66 points and a game on hand after playing 27 matches. The other league challengers Goodwill Promising FC won 2-0 away to Mkhondo United FC to keep their title hopes alive. The stream B of Thandukukhanya Promotio League has proved to be the hardest in recent seasons. The league will probably be decided on the last day.