Diyo Sibisi scored the only goal of the night, slotting in a rebound on 65 minutes after Rudolf Bester’s shot had come back off the upright.
Swallows were reduced to 10 men just two minutes later when Georgi Nergadze was shown a straight red for a dangerous tackle – having just come on as a substitute seven minutes earlier.
The Soweto giants, who suffered the disappointment of losing in the final of the MTN8 to Orlando Pirates earlier in the month, are second from bottom after taking just one point from their first four League games. By the end of the weekend they could find themselves stone last, depending on other results.
The early stages of the game saw the sides trade long-range attempts and the first notable save arrived in the 14th minute, with Greg Etafia turning away Musa Nyatama’s drive from just outside the area.
On the half-hour mark, Etafia again denied Nyatama with a save as United looked to make home advantage count in their favour.
Five minutes before the break Maritzburg should have broken the deadlock, with Sibisi heading over the crossbar after meeting Rudolf Bester’s cross – the striker would have been disappointed to miss the target.
In the second half Etafia made fine saves to deny Bester and Felix Obada before finally being beaten in the 66th minute, with Sibisi scoring from close range after good set-up play by Obada.
Swallows tried to get themselves back in the game, but were unable to really test Maritzburg’s defence – in fact, the home side had a few chances to add to their advantage, but further good keeping from Etafia and some ropey finishing saw the score remain 1-0 in favour of United.