Arrows clinch KZN derby spoils

Premiership

Golden Arrows made a positive start to their DStv Premiership campaign following a 2-1 win over Maritzburg United in the KwaZulu-Natal derby on Saturday.

New signings Richard Zumah, Zukile Kewuti and Rowan Human made their debuts for United, as Arrows lined-up with Michael Gumede in attack instead of Knox Mutizwa.

The home side looked to make their intentions known in the earlier exchanges after a snap shot at the near post from Velemseni Ndwandwe following a corner-kick found the post.

Zumah had Arrows under pressure later on as he worked goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana to two point-blank saves before a goal-line clearance from Nkosinathi Sibisi denied Travis Graham.

Maritzburg still provided more danger to Abafana Besthende minutes from the half-hour mark as a ball from Riyaaz Ismail released Kewuti, who unfortunately slammed wide of target.

However, Abafana Besthende missed a golden opportunity to go ahead seven towards halftime when Nduduzo Sibiya side-footed a cutback from a quick counter-attack way off target.

The Team of Choice came back to life moments apart and saw a fierce left-footed strike on the edge of the area by Daylon Claasen crack the post following a cutback by Bongokuhle Hlongwane.

Substitutions on both fronts at the restart saw Thabani Zuke and Siboniso Conco coming on for Arrows, while United introduced Brandon Theron for his debut in place of Zumah.

The introductions worked for Arrows as Conco ran on the end of a through pass on the right-side ten minutes from resumption to fire in off the far corner of the net.

Maritzburg succumbed to a second midway in the second half after a free-kick from Siphamandla Sabelo gave goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt no chance.

The Team of Choice netted a consolation in the final three minutes through a side-footed finish from Theron following a ball into the area.

Arrows could’ve gone on to grab a third in the closing seconds from a curling strike by substitute Mutizwa, but Engelhardt saved as it finished 2-1.

Confirmed line-ups:

Arrows: Mlungwana, Mathiane, Sibisi, Dlamini, Ndwandwe, M. Dube, Mtshali, Sibiya, Mmodi, Cele, M.Gumede.

Subs: Mbaeva, Sabelo, Dube, Zuke, Conco, Mutizwa, Magawana, Mantshiyane, Ndlovu

Maritzburg: Engelhardt, Ismail, Ndengane, Daniels, Hlongwane, Ntshangase, Kewuti, Graham, Claasen, Human, Zumah.

Subs: Leaner, Hachi, Theron, Hlongwane, Skelem, Bennett, Bhengu, Buthelezi, Zuma.

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