Komphela wins battle of the new coaches

Steve Komphela and Golden Arrows got the better of Muhsin Ertugral and Maritzburg United in an Absa Premiership KwaZulu-Natal derby played at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Sunday.

The match was the first in charge for Komphela and Ertugral after replacing Clinton Larsen and Fadlu Davids respectively. Abafana Bes’thende won 2-0 thanks to goals from Knox Mutizwa and Joao Moreira.

The hosts move up to 10th place on the log thanks to the three points, while the Team of Choice remain in deep trouble at the foot of the table.

Arrows got off to a flyer and were ahead as early as the 10th minute. Danny Venter provided a well-flighted cross from the left flank and Knox Mutizwa scored with a perfectly-placed header back across goalkeeper Richard Ofori.

Five minutes later Venter nearly went from provider to scorer, sending a long range effort arrowing toward the top corner, only for Ofori to make a finger-tip save and deflect the ball over the crossbar for a corner kick.

Midway through the first half Ofori was again in significant action, denying Mutizwa in a one-on-one situation well off his goal line as Maritzburg’s defence was carved open by the Durban hosts once more.

The remainder of the first half saw Maritzburg get a better foothold in the game and ensure they went into the interval trailing only by a single goal.

However, within 60 seconds of the restart they were 2-0 down, with Arrows substitute Joao Moreira (who replaced the injured Mutizwa) exchanging passes with Wayde Jooste before sending a low shot past the right hand of Ofori to double Arrows’ lead.

Arrows were in control of the game as the midway point of the second half neared, but in the 64th minute they were reduced to 10 men: Jooste received a straight red card for a challenge in which he raked his studs down the shin of newly-arrived substitute Keletso Makgalwa.

Maritzburg were able to dominate the rest of the game but their main weakness this season – a lack of threat upfront (they have scored just five times in 15 matches) – once again plagued them and a comeback never looked likely to materialise.

Golden Arrows (1) 2 (Mutizwa 10’, Moreira 46’)

Maritzburg United 0

Arrows: Gumede, Sibisi, Mathiane, Mzava, Lunga, Venter (Bilankulu 74’), Phiri, Parusnath (Conco 60’), Jooste, Mutizwa (Moreira 46’), Lamola

Maritzburg: Ofori, Shandu (Masegela 82’), Onyango, Xulu, Thlone, Mekoa, Matsi, Ndlovu (Sanoka 63’), Kunene, Atouba, Fileccia (Makgalwa 63’)