Result: AmaZulu 0-0 Maritzburg United
Date: 17 January 2021
Venue: Jonsson Kings Park Stadium
AmaZulu FC and Maritzburg United played to a 0-0 draw in the KwaZulu-Natal derby at Kings Park Stadium on Sunday.
Maritzburg had the first attempt on goal in the sixth minute and it was a decent one. Clayton Daniels played the long ball to find Thabiso Kutumela, who chested it down and lined up an effort from range which fizzed along the wet turf and was well held on to by AmaZulu shot-stopper Veli Mothwa.
Daylon Claasen was fouled on the edge of the box by Augustine Mulenga as the Team of Choice won a free-kick in a dangerous position. Kutumela stepped up and his effort was a decent one as it went narrowly over the top of the crossbar.
A backpass from Makhehleni Makhaula went horribly wrong as Judas Moseamedi pounced on the loose ball but skewed his effort wide under pressure from Tapelo Xoki whilst one-on-one with Mothwa.
In the 33rd minute, the ball fell kindly to Usuthu midfielder Xola Mlambo a couple of metres outside the box and the former Orlando Pirates playmaker unleashed a brilliant effort that grazed the top-right-hand corner with Maritzburg keeper Jethren Barr scrambling to get across.
Five minutes before the interval, AmaZulu came agonisingly close. Siyethemba Sithebe received a cross into the box at his feet and unselfishly laid it off to Lehlohonolo Majoro, who hit it first-time but the upright came to the rescue for Maritzburg before the ball was eventually cleared to safety.
Majoro had another opportunity to open the scoring shortly after the interval. Luvuyo Memela played a terrific ball in behind the Maritzburg defence for Majoro, who got one-on-one with Barr but was denied by a good save from the visitors' keeper.
ÀmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy introduced Bonginkosi Ntuli into the fray shortly after the hour mark, with last season's top goalscorer making his long-awaited return from injury.
In the 72nd minute, Mulenga did brilliantly to dribble around his man on the right-hand side and get to the byline before floating the ball to the back post for Tsepo Masilela, whose first-time deflected effort forced Barr into more drastic action.
Barr came to the rescue once again for the Team of Choice when he had to dive dramatically to his left to save a Xoki free-kick that was destined for the top left-hand corner after Siphesihle Maduna had been hauled down on the edge of the box by Maritzburg substitute Gadinkane Modise.
Mulenga had another attempt on goal after some slick Usuthu football once again but couldn't beat Barr again as the match ended in a stalemate.
Here's how they started:
AmaZulu: 44. Mothwa, 5. Sikhakhane, 24. Masilela, 25. Mzava, 27. Xoki, 8. Makhaula, 10. Sithembe, 23. Mlambo, 15. Memela, 20. Majoro, 30. Mulenga.
Subs: 28. Mbatha, 17. Gumede, 29. Mabiliso, , 19. Chawapiwa, 22. Sandile, 6. Khumalo, 34. Maduna, 7. Ntuli, 9. Mthembu.
Maritzburg: 27. Barr, 4. Allie, 25. Ismail, 19. Hachi, 10. Kutumela, 6. Graham, 8. Buchanan, 26. Shandu, 17. Claasen, 19, Moseamedi.
Subs: 31. Mpandle, 23. De Reuck, 3. Sanoka, 45. Mngonyama, 12. Modise, 21. Hlongwane, 7. Meza, 11. Tlolane, 5. Morgan.