Team of Choice victorious

The goals for Maritzburg were scored by Fanyana Dhladhla and a 89th minute winner from John Arwuah. Linos Chalwe scored for Bay.

Both teams were determined to prove a point from the outset and this showed in their crunching tackles in a rough and tumble game. No one was prepared to give way in this bottom-of-the-table clash.

The first effort on goal came three minutes into the game and went the way of the Team of Choice courtesy of a Dikilu Bageta shot. The Maritzburg player pulled the best out of Arthur Bartman, between the Umlilo posts, making him dive full stretch to his right to tip his 20 yard pile-driver around the post for a corner kick.

Bay United responded almost immediately with a ferocious 25 yard shot of their own in the seventh minute of the match. Jermaine Christian curled a nearly perfect free-kick around the Maritzburg wall, but Michel Babale denied him with a fine save, tipping the ball over the crossbar.

No team really took control of the first 45 and they fumbled around the middle of the park as both sides looked to limit their mistakes. As both were scared to attack, refusing to use the flanks, they applied route one football to no effect.

Bay United did try and make something happen in the 32nd minute of the match when the coach made a tactical change, replacing Jean Njoh with Linos Chalwe, but he made little difference.

The game finally got its opening goal in the 60th minute thanks to a fantastic volley by Martizburg’s super-sub, Fanyana Dhladhla, who came on just a minute before.

Fadlu Davids made an impressive run down the right flank before providing a good cross to the far post which found Dhladhla unmarked; he fired home a great volley giving his side the lead, 1-0.

The Team of Choice thought they had the game won and tried to sit back in defence to protect their lead. Umlilo had other ideas and drew level nine minutes from time when some poor marking at the back allowed Chalwe to equalise for his side with a six yard shot after receiving the ball from a nice passing movement, 1-1.

Bay United’s joy, however, was short lived as John Arwuah put his side back in front in the 89th minute which enabled United to clinch the 2-1 victory.