Sport / 17 January 2020, 10:02pm / MINENHLE MKHIZE At Harry Gwala Stadium
Maritzburg United (1) 1
AmaZulu (0) 0
Maritzburg United piled more pressure on the struggling AmaZulu this evening as they brushed them aside 1-0 in the Kwa-Zulu-Natal derby at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.
Usuthu suffered their third defeat in the new year have already been beaten by Mamelodi Sundowns and Supersport United in their previous encounter.
The pressure is mounting for the relegation threaten Usuthu side. They are languishing at the foot the table and time is running out. The Durban based side is facing a mammoth task of getting away from relegation zone. Their assignment is against the resurgent, Orlando Pirates. Usuthu is still 14th on the log and could end the weekend rock bottom depending on other results.
For Maritzburg, it was business as usual on a Friday night. The Team of Choice are unstoppable on Friday nights at Harry Gwala Stadium. They have made that a culture. Maritzburg moved to sixth on the log with 26 points after 18 league outings.
Maritzburg threatened to score in the beginning phases of the game from a set-play but Siyabonga Mbatha was at his best to keep Pogiso Senoka at bay. The ball was delivered in the box by Daniel Morgan.
Jozef Vukusic made wholesale change for Usuthu at the back following his side's defensive frailties in the previous three matches where they conceded seven goals.
Mbatha made his long awaited return between sticks after his long lay off. Captain, Thapelo Xoki and Michael Morton was relegated to the bench while there was no place for Tsepo Masilela in the 18-man squad.
Thabiso Kutumela broke the deadlock as early as in the 27th minutes for the home side. He profited from a good work done by Mxolisi Kunene on the left hand side. Kunene received an exquisite pass from Judas Moseamedi and then took Samuel Darpoh in to the bar line before unleashing a thunderbolt which Mbatha saved but the rebound fell in to the path of Kutumela who finished with aplomb to put his side in to the lead.
Both sides failed to create any meaningful chances after that. The Team of Choice dominated the bulk of the possession but failed to turn it in to clear goalscoring chances.
Keagan Buchanan bossed the midfield. Maritzburg were let down by poor decisions making in the final third.