Golden Arrows claimed the spoils in the latest edition of the KwaZulu-Natal derby after securing a 2-0 victory over Maritzburg United on Sunday afternoon, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The Team of Choice are winless in their last nine games after falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Baroka in the previous Absa Premiership encounter.
Meanwhile, Abafana Bes’Thende came into this encounter after suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of provincial rivals AmaZulu in the last league match.
The previous encounter between the sides ended in a 2-0 victory for Golden Arrows in the league back in August 2018.
The home side showed their intent early on and came close to breaking the deadlock in the first minute when Lerato Lamola played a ball through to Kaleb Parusnath, who took a shot at goal, but his effort flew straight into the hands of Richard Ofori.
Arrows eventually took the lead after 10 minutes when Danny Venter sent a cross into the path of Knox Mutizwa, who made no mistake to head his ball into the net, 1-0.
Ofori came to his side’s rescue four minutes later after he produced a finger tip save to deny Venter’s strike from the edge of the area.
Mutizwa should have doubled his side’s lead in the 22nd minute, but the attacker failed to beat Ofori in a one-on-one situation.
Maritzburg had a chance of their own in the 41st minute after catching Arrows on the counter, before Andrea Fileccia unleashed a shot from just outside the box, but the Belgian’s effort sailed wide of the target.
However, Arrows held on to their 1-0 lead over Maritzburg as the game went into the half-time break.
Arrows picked up where they left off in the first half and doubled their lead a minute into the second half when Joao Moreira latched on to a pass from Lamola before firing his effort across the face of goal to find the bottom corner.
The tempo of the game started to slow down after the hour mark as both sides tried to conserve their energy for the remainder of the game.
Arrows were then reduced to 10 men in the 64th minute when Wayde Jooste received his marching orders following a vicious tackle on Pogiso Sanoka.
At the other end, Maritzburg continued to pressurise the Arrows defence as they pushed forward in the hope of reducing the deficit with 15 minutes left to play.
The Team of Choice had two consecutive chances to get back in the game, but they were unable to find the net as their efforts sailed wide of the target.
Maritzburg pushed forward in the closing stages of the game as they went in search of a goal, but Arrows held on to their lead until the final whistle to claim the bragging rights and all three points at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.
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