Result: Maritzburg United 2-0 Mpumalanga Black Aces
Date: 18 September 2013
Venue: Harry Gwala Stadium
Maritzburg United struck twice early on and then held out against a spirited Mpumalanga Black Aces, for a good 2-0 win tonight. Black Aces fought hard, despite being down to ten men for two thirds of the game, but couldn't score past the in-form Shu-aib Walters.
The Team of Choice, and their debutant Ayanda Nkosi, got off to the best possible start when in just the fourth minute, he found the back of the net with a great finish past Bafana Nhlapo.
Themba Zwane had a good chance two minutes later, as he ran onto a loose ball on the edge of the Maritzburg box, but his effort flew over Walters' goal.
Maritzburg Utd were 2-0 up in the seventh minute as Mario Booysen rose up above the defense to head home from a good long free kick from Ryan De Jongh.
Nkosi almost made it three in the 14th minute as he got onto the end of a great cross from Yakubu Mohammed, but his first-time shot was well saved by Nhlapo.
Mabhuti Khenyeza had a chance to pull one back in the 19th minute as he ran onto a long ball but his shot flew high into the stands.
In the 24th minute Walters made a great one-handed save from an excellent long range effort from Ofentse Nato.
Things got worse for Black Aces in the 29th minute, as Sandile Zuke was sent off for a dangerous studs-up tackle on Maritzburg Utd's captain Michael Morton.
At half-time the score remained 2-0 to the Team of Choice.
Eduardo Ferreira had a chance early in the second-half to pull one back for Black Aces, but his attempt at the far post from a corner flew over the goal.
A minute later Omar Hendricks forced a diving save from Walters, and the ball went out for a corner.
In the 55th minute Walters made another good low stop from a long range effort, this time a good shot from Method Mwanjale.
Black Aces continued to push forward and despite being down to ten men, were getting more of the ball, Khenyeza getting another chance in the 58th minute, but he couldn't get a proper touch to the ball and it landed safely in Walters' hands.
The game was stopped for a few minutes because of Khenyeza's number-less jersey, and the ref made the technical team draw his number on the jersey with a marker pen, much to the amusement of the small crowd watching.
Nhlapo made a good save in the 74th minute as Terrence Mandaza was played into space by his fellow substitute Thabang Matuka, but Nhlapo closed him down and blocked his attempted cross.
Ferreira's effort in the 77th minute went wide, and Khenyeza forced another save from Walters in the 84th minute, as the Aces effort began to slow down.
How they started today:
Maritzburg United: Shu-aib Walters, Thamsanqa Mkhize, Ruben Cloete, Mario Booysen, Robyn Johannes, Michael Morton, Ryan De Jongh, Rhys Evans, Ashley Hartog, Yakubu Mohammed, Ayanda Nkosi
Mpumalanga Black Aces: Bafana Nhlapo, Omar Hendricks, Abel Mabaso, Eduardo Ferreira, Method Mwanjale, Thabo Qalinge, Sandile Zuke, Ofentse Nato, Themba Zwane, Abia Nale, Mabhuti Khenyeza
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