Result: Golden Arrows 1-0 Maritzburg United
Date: 4 August 2019
Venue: Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium
A single goal from Michael Gumede handed Steve Komphela's Golden Arrows a slender 1-0 win over Maritzburg United in their opening match of the 2019/20 Absa Premiership season.
Maritzburg controlled the opening exchanges of the match and saw a lot of the ball, but they failed to make their pressure tell due to some poor passing and bad decision making in the final third.
In fact, the first decent chance fell to Arrows in the 13th minute when Siphamandla Sabelo found some space inside the Maritzburg box, but he blazed his shot over from 16-yards out.
Seven minutes later Judas Mosemaedi looked certain to score when Bandile Shandu played him into space a couple of yards out, but with just the keeper to beat the Maritzburg man saw the ball taken off his toes by an Arrows defender.
A minute into the second half, some lacklustre defending from Maritzburg allowed Michael Gumede to burst through on goal and he made no mistake as he lobbed the keeper to hand Arrows a 1-0 lead.
Maritzburg took the game by the scruff of the neck after going behind, but similar to the first half their finishing let them down.
Just after the hour mark Shandu came close to equalising for Maritzburg when he let fly from long range, but his stinging effort was deflected just wide of the target.
In the 75th minute, Arrows could have put the result beyond doubt when Knox Mutizwa found himself behind the Maritzburg defence, but he failed to beat the keeper in a one-on-one.
Maritzburg threw players forward in the final ten minutes of the match, but were unable to find a goal and salvage a draw as Polokwane walked away 1-0 winners.
Here is how they lined-up.
Arrows: 30 Sibanda, 13 Lunga, 20 Mathiane, 28 Bilankulu, 14 S Dube, 35 Mtshali (26 Phiri 80’), 4 Venter, 5 Shitolo, 15 Makhubela, 8 Sabelo (18 Mutizwa 61’), 33 Gumede (41 Lamola 76’).
Subs: 1 Mbaeva, 23 L Dube, 26 Phiri, 2 Nkombelo, 41 Lamola, 18 Mutizwa, 7 Matloga
Maritzburg: 31 Ofori, 25 Xulu, 4 Allie, 15 Ntshangase (28 Mekoa 73’), 23 De Reuck (21 Hlongwane 60’), 36 Kunene, 6 Timm, 17 Claasen, 20 Moseamedi, 12 Nyoni (8 Buchanan 83’), 26 Shandu.
Subs: 30 Mpandle, 45 Mngonyama, 28 Mekoa, 8 Buchanan, 21 Hlongwane, 7 Kutumela, 16 Sangweni.