Premier Soccer Leage Promotion/Relegation Play-offs
Result: Maritzburg United 1-0 Royal Eagles
Date: 19 May 2019
Venue: Harry Gwala Stadium
Thabiso Kutumela got the only goal of the game to get Maritzburg United's promotion/relegation play-off campaign off to a winning start against Royal Eagles.
The Team of Choice made two changes from their draw with Baroka FC last weekend, with Thabiso Kutumela and Mxolisi Kunene coming in to the fold in place of Allan Kateregga and Yannick Zakri.
United showed the urgency to get an early goal in the opening exchanges but they were constantly thwarted by the brilliance of Eagles goalkeeper Hugo Nyame between the sticks.
The best chance of the half arrived on the half-hour mark for Maritzburg after a bad clearance from opened up a glorious opportunity for Mohau Mokate in the box, however he was unable to find away past Nyame from point-blank range.
Seven minutes later, Kutumela finally broke the deadlock for Maritzburg with eight minutes remaining of the first stanza after arriving late from the blind-side to fire a low shot past Nyame.
The Team of Choice almost nearly doubled their lead four minutes after the break through, but Nyame was on hand to make another good save to keep Eagles in the game while Fortunate Makaringe hit the side-netting with a first-time shot minutes later.
With Eagles upping the tempo, Tinkler looked for fresh legs in attack as he brought on Judas Moseamedi for Mokate with just over 20 minutes remaining in the stanza.
Eagles were camped in the Maritzburg half in the latter stages of the stanza, but goalkeeper Richard Ofori ensured the hosts walked away with three points with a superb save on the line to deny Lesego Manganyi the equaliser.
The Team of Choice now have the same number of points as Eagles at the top of the Promotion-Relegation mini-log, and will now turn the attention to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
Here's how they lined up:
Maritzburg: Ofori, Xulu, Allie, Ndlovu, De Reuck, Makaringe, Timm, Kutumela, Mokate, Kunene, Shandu.
Subs: Mpandle, Kateregga, Matsi, Onyango, Hlongwane, Moseamedi, Mekoa.
Eagles: Nyame, Cele, Nene, Manganyi, Wambi, Mosebo, Stoffels, Ntuli, Shezi, Zulu, Bakah.
Subs: Abubakar, Mncube, Booysen, Ndwandwe, Tshabalala, Brown, Tau.