Luyanda Ntshangase’s first half-half goal against Amazulu was enough to keep Maritzburg United’s title aspirations of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) alive.
The Team of Choice will know their true fate on Sunday when log leaders Golden Arrows, who are now ahead of Maritzburg by two points, take on Orlando Pirates in this same venue.
A win for Arrows will be enough to crown them this season’s champions although there’s still one game to go.
Ntshangase’s winning goal for the Team of Choice was assisted by goalkeeper Jethren Barr. The shotstopper delivered a long ball that found the talisman in anticipation in the Usuthu’s third, Ntshangase calmly controlled the ball and skillfully swayed past his marker before unleashing a cheeky-strike past goalkeeper Mpendulo Dlamini’s legs to put his side ahead.
With the voices at the back of their heads that anything less than a win will automatically eliminate them out of the title race, Maritzburg had everything to play for. Whereas, neighbours Amazulu were merely targeting a top eight finish in their first season in the reserve league. It was rather Usuthu who started the game looking hungrier for the three points but their frontmen failed to hit the target.
Mid-way through the first half, versatile player Motsie Matima, who’s made six appearance, opted to draw back to stabilise the Team of Choice’s mildfield together with captain Sandile Dlamini.
The new change in strategy seemed to have worked like a charm for the Team of Choice, as that gave Ntshangase a free role upfront. The lanky striker terrorised Usuthu’s defence for the better part of the game with his skilful and pacy feet. But the Pietermaritzburg based-side had to settle for a 1-0 nil in this KZN derby.
In the days other results:
Kaizer Chiefs ran riot in the second game of the day after thumping Platinum Stars by four goals to two. Chiefs’ hitman Yusuf Bunting got a brace while Asanda Dyani and Reamohetswe Lekoatsa also got on the scoresheets. For Dikwena, it was an own goal from Njabulo Blom and Thembelani Majingo who got on the scoreboards.