Maritzburg held by 10-man Usuthu

Maritzburg United were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man AmaZulu in an Absa Premiership match at a wet and rainy Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.

The Team of Choice looked on course for all three points thanks to Mondli Cele’s first half goal and a red card for Usuthu’s Bornwell Mwape, but a late penalty from Bongani Ndulula handed Steve Barker’s side a share of the spoils.

The first clear chance of the match went the way of the visitors in the 11th minute. A long throw-in from the left fell to the feet of Bongani Ndulula, who turned sharply from having his back to goal and fired off a left-footed shot from close range, but it flashed wide of the near post.

Two minutes later Maritzburg had a fine opportunity of their own, with Khumbulani Banda whipping in a good cross from the left which picked out Nhlanhla Vilakazi, but the midfielder put his header over the crossbar.

United broke the deadlock in the 37th minute. Winger Mondli Cele switched flanks to the left, received a pass just inside the penalty area and cut inside to beat AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mngoma with a low shot just inside the near post.

Usuthu sent on Ayanda Dlamini at the start of the second half and proceeded to dominate possession, forcing the home side onto the back foot. However, clear chances were hard to come by for the team in green.

Striker Bornwell Mwape almost produced an equaliser on 65 minutes, pushing forward into the box before striking a fearsome left-footed effort across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.

AmaZulu’s hopes of getting back into the game were dealt a severe blow with just under 20 minutes to play, as Mwape was shown a straight red card for a reckless, studs-up challenge on Ashley Hartog.

However, just a few minutes later the Durban side were awarded a penalty when Ndulula was bundled over in the box by Mohammed Awal. The Bafana Bafana striker took the spot kick himself and emphatically fired it into the back of the net to make it 1-1 in the 77th minute.

United created several good chances to reclaim the lead in what remained of the match and hit the crossbar deep in injury time through a header from Hartog, but they were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage and the game ended all-square.

Maritzburg United (1) 1 (Cele 37’)

AmaZulu (0) 1 (Ndulula 77’ pen)


Maritzburg United: Vries, Mabaso, Paintsil, Awal, Banda, Sekotlong, Mngomyama, Vilakazi (Mkhize 68’), Cele (Lentjies 86’), Hartog, Mandaza (Mokate 74’)

AmaZulu: Mngoma, Nyadombo, Johannes, Ouro-Akoriko (Shange 70’), Mwedihanga, Hlanti, Shabalala, G. Dlamini, Were Ooko (A. Dlamini 46’), Mwape, Ndulula (Madondo 83’)