UNITED WIN FIVE-GOAL KZN DERBY THRILLER
12 May 2021
Maritzburg United were made to work very hard for a 3-2 win over Golden Arrows in a riveting KwaZulu-Natal DStv Premiership derby at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday afternoon
Goals from when Tebogo Tlolane, Thabiso Kutumela and Bongokuhle Hlongwane sealed the crucial three points for coach Ernst Middndorp’s charges.
The Team of Choice started the match on the front foot and had an early chance when Kutumela’s corner landed in Phumlani Ntshangase's path, the resultant shot being cleared before Clayton Daniels struck a left foot shot from the rebound just wide.
United's efforts were rewarded in the 15th minute when Arrows failed to clear a Ryan Rae throw, Ntshangase doing well to win a header in the opposition box before Tlolane netted with a sizzling half-volley from about 16 metres out.
There was an opportunity in the 27th minute to double the advantage when Kutumela's cross located Hlongwane, whose header flashed inches wide and into the sidenetting.
Five minutes before the interval a long throw from Rae again caused the visitors problems, with Kutumela nearly sneaking in to score before the ball was finally cleared.
Arrows finished the half strongly and had a couple of chances including one for Lindokuhle Mtshali which flew narrowly over goal.
Although Abafana bes’Thende came out fighting after the restart, it was Maritzburg who were to score again, on 56 minutes.
It was a beautifully crafted goal as Fares Hachi went on a mazy run before passing to Hlongwane, who completed the triangle by playing in Kutumela, who duly obliged with a neat, low angled finish.
Unfortunately though the two goal cushion was short-lived as Arrows went and scored from the restart, Michael Gumede sliding a low cross in from close-range.
However, the Team of Choice were to restore the two goal advantage a couple of minutes later when Kutumela turned on the edge of the box and played in Hlongwane, who finished sublimely with a left-foot first-time shot.
After chances at both ends of the Harry Gwala pitch, the Durban team pulled one back in the 83rd minute when Nduduzo Sibiya scored from the penalty spot after a debatable hand-ball call.
It was a nervy final 15 minutes of the game but in the end some resolute defending got the Team of Choice over the line.
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