AmaZulu leave it late in KZN Derby
Posted: 17 April 2010 Time: 22:35
AmaZulu scored three minutes into injury time to claim a 1-0 win over KwaZulu-Natal rivals Maritzburg United on Saturday evening and move into the next round of the Nedbank Cup.
Striker Brad Ritson netted from close range to hand Usuthu a second successive win over the Team of Choice in cup competitions and ensure that AmaZulu will be in the hat for the last 16 draw on Monday morning.
The first half was a scrappy affair, with neither side really able to assert themselves and get their passing games going, though Maritzburg certainly saw a lot more of the ball than their visitors.
The game was a very physical encounter, with a lot of belligerent fouls, and referee Buyile Gqubule saw fit to brandish four yellow cards in the first half in an effort to tone down the on-field aggression.
The only real attacking highlights in the first 45 minutes saw United’s Mor Diouf head narrowly wide of goal from a free kick midway through the half and AmaZulu’s Litha Ngxabi send a long range effort just over the bar a few minutes before the interval.
AmaZulu striker Ayanda Dlamini almost broke the deadlock in the first minute of the second half, glancing a header just wide after Pere Ariweriyai had won the flick-on at the near post.
On 54 minutes the ball broke kindly for Kurt Lentjies in the AmaZulu penalty area but Siphiwe Mkhonza threw his body in the line of fire to make a superb block when the United midfielder seemed destined to score.
Maritzburg gradually began to grow in confidence and dominate proceedings, with the introduction of a more conventional striker – Brice Aka – giving them a focal point in attack.
With just under a quarter of an hour to play in regulation time, the Team of Choice strung together a great passing move that ended with Musa Nyatama’s goal-bound effort being deflected just wide the target.
The home team looked the likelier scorers as the clock wound down but Usuthu ensured the game didn’t go into extra time, scoring in the third minute of stoppage time.
Substitute Sthembiso Dlamini put his namesake in behind the United defence and the striker in turn squared the ball for Ritson to score a tap-in and send the ‘Green Machine’ into the last 16.
Maritzburg: (4-5-1) Goldman; Petersen, Booysen, Diouf, Ngwepe; Lentjies, Nyatama, Obada, Madondo, Bester; Ncubeni (Aka 70’)
AmaZulu: (4-4-2) Gindre; Biyela, Ariweriyai, Mkhonza, van Heerden; Mabaso, Ngxabi (N. Zwane 77’), Sikhakhane (S. Dlamini 90+1’), Mokoro; A. Dlamini, Ritson