Gutsy Usuthu fend off Maritzburg in DStv Premiership draw

Ethan Brooks of AmaZulu challenged by Bonginkosi Makume of Maritzburg United during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between AmaZulu and Maritzburg United at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on the 18 October 2022 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

AmaZulu drew 1-1 with Maritzburg United in the DStv Premiership at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Following the stalemate, Usuthu are now ninth on the log and will subsequently shift their attention to Marumo Gallants in their next league fixture, which will take place on the 26th of October at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

AmaZulu got the game off to a positive start and immediately settled on the ball. While Maritzburg had attacking moves of their own, Usuthu did well to fend off the visitors.

Usuthu dominated the possession statistics for much of the first half as the Team of Choice sat back in soaking up the pressure. With positive play being a theme of the first half, the KwaZulu-Natal side kept knocking.

George Maluleka provided the first real chance of the game, after unleashing a shot that hit the Maritzburg upright.

After waves of pressure, AmaZulu’s thrusts paid off as Gabadinho Mhango opened the scoring just before the half-time whistle. Sphesihle Maduna did well to penetrate the Team of Choice defence, with a telling run into the area before picking out the Malawian international, who made no mistake inside the area.

As the referee blew for the second-half whistle, Maritzburg immediately searched for an equaliser and went straight on the attacker. In dealing with the pressure AmaZulu held their own and stuck to their principles of keeping the ball.

Tercious Malepe received his marching orders 10 minutes into the second half, following a rash challenge on Brandon Theron. Down to 10 men, AmaZulu continued to apply pressure on the opposition backline.

With their numerical advantage, Maritzburg made way in the AmaZulu half and carved out a couple of goalscoring chances. However AmaZulu remained solid in defence.

Maritzburg saw much of the ball in the second half and subsequently drew level with 15 minutes to go. In spite of sustained attacks by the visitors, AmaZulu did well to recover and recycle balls in their own half.

The tie ended in a 1-1 stalemate as Usuthu and the Team of Choice shared the spoils at the Moses Mabhida stadium.

AmaZulu FC: (1) 1 (Mhango 40’)
Maritzburg United: (0) 1 (Samu 76’)

AmaZulu: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Hanamub, Mphahlele, Mobara, Buchanan (Bwalya 59’), Malepe, Maluleka, Maduna (Kunene 69’), Kwem (Brooks 69’), Mhango (Ndlovu 82’)

Martizburg: Fru, Theron (van Der Ross 62’), Ritchie, Makume, Moloisane, Samu, Graham (Kimvuidi 62’), Sam (Monamodi 62’), Mashikinya (Palace 62’), Soukouna (Macheke 46’), Njoti