LATE FIGHTBACK IN VEIN AS UNITED LOSE KZN DERBY
21 August 2021
It was an afternoon of missed chances in the DStv Premiership for Maritzburg United as the Team of Choice went down 2-1 to Golden Arrows in a KwaZulu-Natal derby encounter at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday.
It was certainly a frustrating day for United, who dominated the goal-scoring chances but couldn't make them count.
Arrows had enjoyed the first opening of the match and were close to netting when Velemseni Ndwandwe hit the upright from a tight angle.
After that though it was the Pietermaritzburg side who enjoyed the better of the opening stanza, and there was a two minute period around the 20-minute mark, when the visitors peppered the Arrows goal but somehow came away without scoring.
First Zukile Kewuti and Travis Graham were denied off the line in a double save and from the resultant corner, Richard Zumah's close-range shot brought out an incredible reflex stop from home keeper Sifiso Mlungwana.
Moments later from a goalmouth scramble, Clayton Daniels fired over the Abafana bes'Thende goal from close range, before Kewuti narrowly missed out with an angled drive eight minutes later.
After Nduduzo Sibiya squandered a good chance for the hosts, Maritburg midfieler Daylon Claasen was desperately unlucky to see his 41st minute left-footed volley coming back off the inside of the upright.
Having come so close in the first half, the Team of Choice suffered a 55th minute sucker-punch when Siboniso Conco sprinted clear down the right flank before scoring from a tight angle.
It got worse 13 minutes later for United when Siphamandla Sabelo curled in an unstoppable free kick.
Maritzburg kept on plugging away though and were back in with a chance when Brandon Theron scored on debut in the 88th minute, doing very well to latch onto Bongokuhle Hlongwane's pass and cutting in from the right before curling a deft left-footer into the bottom corner.
But coming so late in the game, United were unable to salvage anything from the match in the dying moments of added time.