A 1-1 tie between AmaZulu and Maritzburg United on Wednesday night at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban resulted in a sharing of the spoils.
Usuthu has gone four games without an at-home league win while Maritzburg recorded their second consecutive draw.
Gabadinho Mhango, a top striker for AmaZulu, gave the home team the lead in the 39th minute with a close-range shot following some solid work by Siphesihle Maduna.
In order to get into the Maritzburg box, Maduna, who had scored in the previous game, had to dribble past three players. Once there, he dragged a low cross towards the penalty spot, where Mhango was waiting. Mhango made no mistakes, shooting the ball first time to give the hosts the lead.
After Usuthu lost a player, Maritzburg’s momentum changed, and in the 77th minute, forward Friday Samu scored to tie the score.
The international striker from Zambia demonstrated his striker’s instinct by creeping from the far post and beating Veli Mothwa, the goalie for AmaZulu.
chasing the Top Four As the head coach for his second game since joining the team, Romain Folz’s Usuthu side came into this match in tenth place in the league.
With Mhango’s return to his starting lineup, the 32-year-old coach, who was hoping to improve on his team’s recent record of only two goals scored in four games, welcomed what seemed to be a much-needed lift.
Prior to kickoff, Maritzburg was just two points above the relegation zone, hardly the finest start for their opponents under Head Coach John Maduka.
Despite having some of the most attractive football in the league, The Team of Choice has not had the results to back it up, so it was not a surprise when they immediately began to exert pressure on the home team.
In the first 25 minutes, the visitors made five efforts on goal, outnumbering the hosts and making their intentions obvious.
Left back for Maritzburg In the 13th minute, Keagan Ritchie forced Mothwa into his first stop of the match with a shot from outside the box.
Despite their early pressure, Maritzburg was caught in a crucial juncture of the game and gave up only six minutes before halftime. Maduka would have been quite upset with his team.
Ten minutes after the break, Tercious Malepe, who was making only his second start of the year, had a rush of blood to the head, and in the 55th minute, he was dismissed from the game.
In the end, the two teams were unable to be separated and shared the victory in a fiercely fought game.
The next big test for AmaZulu will be welcoming Kaizer Chiefs to town for an MTN8 semi-final this weekend, while Team Of Choice will have to wait almost a week until they take on Mamelodi Sundowns as their toughest opponent.