Result: Maritzburg United 3-2 Golden Arrows
Date: 12 May 2021
Venue: Harry Gwala Stadium
Maritzburg United boosted their survival hopes with a crucial 3-2 win over Golden Arrows in the KwaZulu-Natal derby on Wednesday afternoon.
The Team of Choice handed starts to Fares Hachi and Phumlani Ntshangase while Arrows recalled Matome Mathiane, Lindokuhle Mtshali, Ntsako Makhubela and Lungelo Dube.
Maritzburg got off to a bright start as Tebogo Tlolane fired them ahead in the 15th minute with a left-footed volley that took a deflection into the far post after a rebound inside the box.
Bongokuhle Hlongwane had a wonderful chance to double the lead for United just before the half-hour mark after making a good leap to get to Thabiso Kutumela's cross first at the near post but his glancing header hit the top side-netting.
Mandla Ncikazi responded with a double change at half-tiime, bringing on Pule Mmodi in place of Knox Mutizwa upfront and Nduduzo Sibiya replaced Lungelo Dube in midfield.
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However, Ernst Middendorp's charges continued to get the better chances coming from the break as Kutumela extended Maritzburg's lead just before the hour-mark with a first-time finish at the near post after a through ball by Hlongwane.
Immediately from the restart, Michael Gumede pulled a goal back for Abafana Bes'thende with a first-time shot after arriving late inside the six-yard box to poke home a cross by Sibiya.
Maritzburg were also quick off the mark to restore their two-goal cushion, as Hlongwane made it 3-1 four minutes later with a cracking strike on the far side of the box after a through ball by Kutumela.
As the pendulum swung once again, Arrows were offered a lifeline with a penalty in the last seven minutes after a handball by Allie inside the box but Engelhardt was unable to keep out Sibiya's spot-kick.
Nkosinathi Sibisi came close to snatching the equaliser for the visitors three minutes before time with a free header inside the six-yard box that sailed wide as United desperately held on to move up to 12th on the log.
Here's how they started:
Maritzburg: 31. Engelhardt, 17. Claasen, 19. Hachi, 16. Daniels, 11. Tlolane, 42. Rae, 15. Ntshangase, 6. Graham, 11. Stevic, 21. Hlongwane, 7. Kutumela.
Subs: 30. Mpandle, 4. Allie, 45. Mngonyama, 26. Shandu, 25. Ismail, 19. Moseamedi, 12. Modise, 40. Buthelezi, 37. Zondi.
Arrows: 36. Mlungwana, 29. Sibisi, 3. Lunga, 31. Zuke, 28. M.Dube, 20. Mathiane, 23. L.Dube, 7. Mtshali, 4. Makhubela, 33. M.Gumede, 18. Mutizwa.
Subs: 32. N.Gumede, 11. Sibiya, 37. Ndlovu, 6. Sabelo, 13. Mmodi, 26. Phiri, 6. Parusnath, 12. Ndwandwe.