Royal AM snatch KZN derby spoils


Royal AM climbed to third spot in the DStv Premiership with a late 2-1 win over Maritzburg United in the KwaZulu-Natal derby on Sunday afternoon.

Less than one change from Royal AM saw Mzwanele Mahashe replace Thato Lingwati, while United missed captain Phumlani Ntshangase but had Bongokuhle Hlongwane back from suspension.

Royal AM searched a fourth straight victory to the Team of Choice hoping to get back to winning ways following their loss against SuperSport United, as both endured a quiet opening.

Maritzburg made a positive start to the second half and fashioned a half-chance from a looping ball in the area, but Hlongwane directed the resultant delivery over target.

Another opening from a set-play by the Team of Choice ten minutes following the break saw a long throw-in from Ryan Rae meet Daylon Claasen, who headed against the woodwork.

The host called on a fresh set of faces in the closing quarter of the match, with Tebogo Potsane removed and Mfundo Thikazi brought in by John Maduka.

Royal AM proved more decisive in the last 20 minutes when Victor Letsoalo moved towards the near post of the area to head a pin-point cross into the net.

The Team of Choice were prevented a quick response as goalkeeper Hugo Nyame smothered a close-range shot from Amadou Soukouna.

Maritzburg got their rewards five minutes from time when Zukile Kewuti’s cross-cum shot from the left-side crept off the top-hand post and into the net.

Royal AM had the final say though as Tshepo Rikhotso helped in a loose ball from a free-kick by Thikazi after United failed to clear lines to see his side to four straight wins and third spot.

Confirmed line up:

Royal AM: Nyame, Mahashe, Manganyi, Rikhotso, Mahlasela, Mashikinya, Monamodi, Potsane, Mashiane, Letsoalo, MKhize.

Subs: Chaine, Tchilimbou, Kobedi, Phalane,  Thikazi, George, Mdluli, Van der Ross, Masuku.

Maritzburg: Engelhardt, Ismail, Ndengane, Rae, Theron, L.Hlongwane, Kewuti, Claasen, Allie, B.Hlongwane, Soukouna.

Subs: Petersen, Human, Ngwane, Zuma, Skelem, Zondi, Graham.