In an open and tightly-contested and sometimes bruising encounter, Maritzburg defended superbly and scored two breath-taking goals at the end of each half.
The first half was action packed, Maritzburg having an early chance through Andrea Fileccia before AmaZulu striker Siyabonga Nomvethe twice forced Richard Ofori into saves, the second especially impressive.
More chances arrived for Usuthu as Sibusiso Mabiliso headed wide and Ovidy Kararu shot across the face of goal before Bevan Fransman drew a smart save out of visiting goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha with a low free kick.
Now with the initiative back on their side, Maritzburg grew in confidence and they took the lead in the 40th minute through a superbly worked team move as Fileccia’s ball reached Mekoa, who in turn cleverly played in Lebogang Maboe before he picked out Bandile Shandu to score from close range.
The breath-taking pace and simplicity of the move sparked great celebration from the large number of home fans who contributed to a thrilling evening’s derby entertainment.
It was almost 2-0 a few minutes later, but Siphesihle Ndlovu was denied by Mbatha after having gone in on goal.
The Durban team came out fighting after the restart, but Fadlu Davids’ men remained composed and absorbed the pressure, while AmaZulu suffered a setback just after the hour mark when Butholezwe Ncube was sent off for a second bookable offence after taking down the outstanding Ndlovu.
After Sadat Ouro-Akoriko and Thapelo Nyongo sent headers wide for the visitors, Mekoa came agonisingly close to scoring when he rattled the bar with a superb curling shot four minutes from time.
The second goal came in the 90th minute, Ndlovu sliding in to score at the back post after a brilliant slide-rule assist from William Twala.
Maritzburg: Ofori, Sanoka, Xulu, Fransman, Tloane, Makaringe, Maboe, Ndlovu, Shandu, Mekoa, Fillecia.
Subs: Mpandle , Kunene, Atouba. Twala, Mokate, Onyango, Mcdonald.
AmaZulu: Mbatha, Mabiliso, M. Gumede, Nyongo, Ouro-Akoriko, Ncube, Darpoh, Mnguni, Karuru, Khenyeza, Nomvethe.
Subs: Pule, Mthembu, Dlamini S, Sikhakhane, Ncobeni, Cele, Abraw.
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