Early goals see Maritzburg to victory

Ayanda Nkosi and Mario Booysen struck early and set the Team of Choice on the path to victory.

Amazayoni also had a man sent off in the first-half, allowing the home side were able to cruise for the rest of the game.

Maritzburg got off to a flying start, when a simple long ball saw debutant Nkosi spring the offside trap, hold off a challenge from Omar Hendricks and calmly finish past goalkeeper Bafana Nhlapo.

Just three minutes later United doubled their advantage. A cross was floated into the penalty area from a free-kick and Mario Booysen got between two Aces defenders to power home a towering header.

On 14 minutes Nkosi almost scored a third goal for the hosts. A long diagonal ball sent striker Yakubu Mohammed free down the left, and he in turn picked out a great cross to find Nkosi, but the youngster’s first-time shot was well saved by Nhlapo.

10 minutes later Ofentse Nato almost pulled one back for Amazayoni with a superbly struck long-range effort, but Shu-Aib Walters showed his class, tipping the ball over the crossbar for a corner.

On the half-hour mark things went from bad to worse for Aces. The visitors seemed to be gaining a foothold in the game, but were suddenly reduced to 10 men when midfielder Sandile Zuke was shown a straight red card for a studs-up, two-footed challenge on Michael Morton.

Despite being a man down, Aces should have halved the deficit early in the second half. A corner was flicked on at the near post and fell kindly for Eduardo Ferreira, but the Brazilian centre-back directed his close-range effort over the target.

Substitute Thabang Mathuka should have made it 3-0 with just over a quarter hour to play, as he found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper in the penalty area, but Nhlapo made a fine block to keep the scoreline respectable.