Maritzburg United ended a run of two straight Absa Premiership defeats with a goalless draw against AmaZulu in the KwaZulu-Natal derby at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Sunday.
Date: 4 December 2011
Teams: AmaZulu – Maritzburg United
Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium
Referee: Buyile Gqubule
AmaZulu: Tapuwa Kapini, Marc van Heerden, Kasonga Bukasa, Carlington Nyadombo, Ramson Zhuwawo, Tshweu Mokoro, Stanley Kgatla, Bongani Mbhele, Goodman Dlamini, Tangeni Shipahu (Zwane 58′), Ayanda Dlamini (Lewis, 80′).
Maritzburg United: Shu-Aib Walters, Michael Morton, Thabang Matuka, Mor Diouf, Byron Hendricks, Rheece Evans, Jabulani Ncubeni (Morne Davids, 84′), Prince Olomu, Sheldon Lawrence (Lentjies 56′), Felix Obada, Fadlu Davids (Matle 61′).
After a slow start, the match lit up in the final 20 minutes with Mor Diouf coming closest to breaking the deadlock when his overhead kick struck the crossbar.
Ayanda Dlamini and Goodman Dlamini also had good chances for the hosts, but were thwarted by Shu-aib Walters as the match ended scoreless.
The point leaves the hosts in ninth place, while the Team of Choice are 11th after round 13.
The visitors, who entered the game with a 5-1 win record over the hosts in their eight previous Premiership meetings, began strongly with Felix Obada causing plenty of trouble down the right flank.
The Nigerian winger crossed low in the second minute as the home defence failed to clear, but Sheldon Lawrence saw his shot from a tight angle at the back post deflected wide by Tapuwa Kapini.
From the resulting Obada corner, Byrone Hendricks flashed an open six-yard header wide.
The Usuthu slowly began to find their feet and a moment of hesitation from Rheece Evans gave A. Dlamini a half-chance which was deflected wide from a tight angle on the left.
Lawrence then shot straight at Kapini from outside the box after more indecisive defending.
Five minutes before the break a Lawrence corner was flicked on by Diouf, with Michael Morton dragging his shot wide at the back post.
Fadlu Davids then failed to make strong contact with a header after getting between the two AmaZulu central defenders, Belux Kasonga and Carlington Nyadombo, as United ended the half stronger.
After the restart, Obada was again in the action early on after he latched onto a long ball from the midfield on the left side of the box, although he skewed his effort wide.
With 17 minutes remaining the game burst into life with AmaZulu’s best openings.
The first one came when Bongani Mbele squared the ball to A. Dlamini, whose shot from the centre of the box forced Walters to dive to his right to collect.
Moments later, Mbele’s through-ball picked out G. Dlamini and he outpaced Hendricks, but then hesitated with his shot and eventually deflected the ball off the United defender into the hands of the goalkeeper.