Watenga stars for Arrows

Ismail Watenga in action for Chippa United last season | Photo Credit: Courtesy

FOOTBALL Watenga stars for Arrows

Shafic Kiyaga 07:44 - 30.08.2023

Having started all five of the team's matches this season, contributing to three victories and a draw, Watenga's latest outing adds significant momentum to both his and Golden Arrows' campaign.

Goalkeeper Ismail Watenga stole the show as Golden Arrows ended SuperSport United's unbeaten start to the DStv Premiership on Tuesday.

Watenga's heroics were the talking point of the evening as Golden Arrows secured a 3-0 victory at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Watenga has been in good form since joining Arrows in August but Tuesday's game was arguably his best performance yet for the side.

His brilliance between the posts was the cornerstone of the victory, as he managed to keep his first clean sheet of the season.

He faced a barrage of 22 shots over 90 minutes, steadfastly denying every attempt from SuperSport United's attacking line.

Early in the first half, Bradley Grobler seemed sure to open the scoring for SuperSport when he sent a powerful header towards goal. Watenga showed tremendous anticipation, adjusting his positioning in a split second to divert the ball over the crossbar.

Minutes later, Lyle Lakay tried to catch the keeper off-guard with a low drive at the near post, but Watenga was up to the task, stretching fully to push the ball away.

As SuperSport looked to claw back into the match before halftime, Watenga continued to be an impassable barrier.

Gamphani Lungu fired a shot from inside the box that seemed destined for the bottom corner, only for Watenga to get a strong hand to it, pushing it wide of the post.

Moments later, Pfumbidzai thought he had bested the keeper with a close-range header, but Watenga leaped across the goal to tip the ball over the bar.

The second half was no different, with Watenga continuing to steal the show. Grant Margeman tried his luck from long range, unleashing a ferocious strike that looked goal-bound.

Watenga, showing incredible reaction speed, got his fingertips to the ball, nudging it just enough to rattle the crossbar and keep his clean sheet intact.

Watenga's heroics were complemented by clinical finishing from his teammates.

Lungelo Nguse set the pace with a goal in the 34th minute, later joined by Angelo Van Rooi and Ryan Moon in the scorers' list.

This win propelled Golden Arrows to second place, overtaking SuperSport United and laying down a marker for the rest of the league.