Maritzburg battle back to deny Usuthu

Premiership

The KwaZulu-Natal derby ended all square as Maritzburg United and AmaZulu drew 1-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday evening.

Maritzburg had three changes in Ryan Rae, Lungelo Bhengu and Amadou Soukouna, while Usuthu recalled Thembela Sikhakhane, Tsepo Masilela, Luvuyo Memela, Xola Mlambo and Andre De Jong.

Usuthu managed to suppress a nervy start ten minutes in to break the deadlock when Memela tapped in a smart cross from the right-side by De Jong.

Maritzburg looked to draw a way back as the match drifted towards the closing periods, but a free-kick from Amadou Soukouna did nothing to bother Usuthu goalkeeper Veli Mothwa.

The Team of Choice maintained their promising spell of play closer to the halftime interval with a lot of runs in and around the visitors defensive area but provided nothing worthwhile in the end.

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As the second half commenced, it brought the host to a substitution too as Rowan Human came on to replace Bhengu whilst Usuthu opted to remain unchanged.

Maritzburg were livened up by the renewed energy and additional firepower minutes into the restart, as Soukouna nearly levelled it up from a clever strike but it was deflected for a corner-kick.

The danger kept coming the way of Usuthu inside the closing exchanges, with Mothwa produced to astounding piece of goalkeeping from various attempts.

There were no stopping United though as Soukouna ran towards the edge of the area in the last five minutes to blast the top-corner of the net with a powerful strike after getting goal-side.

Both sides went in search of the winner with full-time on the horizon, but neither managed to get their wish as the encounter finished all square.

Confirmed line-ups:

Maritzburg: Engelhardt, Claasen, Ndengane, Ritchie, Soukouna, Ntshangase, Rae, Graham, Bhengu, Hlongwane B, Theron

Subs: Petersen, Zumah, Human, Daniels, Skelem, Dlamuku, Ismail, Cele

AmaZulu: Mothwa, Gumede,  Masilela, Xoki, Sikhakhakne, Buchanan, Makhaula, Mlambo,  Qalinge, Memela, De Jong.

Subs: 43. Boshoff, 22. Khumalo, 18. Moleko, 28. Ekstein, 21. Seeay, 25. Mzava, 30. Mulenga, 19. Moremi, 9. Mthembu.

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