Arrows sink United in exciting KZN derby

2013-11-25 00:00

IT was the arrows of the home side that shone brightest at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi yesterday afternoon.

Golden Arrows beat Maritzburg United 2-1 after scoring two goals in quick succession in the second half after a stalemate at the break.

The first goal came courtesy of a penalty by captain and Bafana Bafana midfielder Thanduyise Khuboni, who sent goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters the wrong way after Arrows’ Dumisani Zwane was brought down in the area by United skipper Michael Morton.

Three minutes later, it was 2-0 as Bonginkosi Ntuli connected sweetly with the ball after being given space in the box to beat Walters.

The game seemed to open up after the second goal, and it was Larsen’s lads who found the back of the net in the 71st minute through the boot of substitute Ayanda Nkosi.

The 21-year-old University of Johannesburg student volleyed Mohammed Awal’s cross into the back of the net to set up an exciting finish. It was his first touch of the game.

Following United’s dramatic defeat to Platinum Stars two weeks back, coach Clinton Larsen said at the time he was never one to sit back, and it was evident as United went in search of the equaliser, to no avail.

Deep into stoppage time, Ntlantla Zothwane should have made it 3-1, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Walters, who seemingly still believed they could sneak one back and bring a point back to Pietermaritzburg.

The game was an exciting encounter, and it was a miracle that both teams ended with a full complement of players.

By the 15th minute, trigger-happy referee Thabo Nkosi had already dished out four yellow cards — two to each side — and United’s Ghanaian defender Awal can count his lucky stars he was not given his marching orders with a second yellow after kicking the ball at an Arrows player who was lying on the ground.

In the first half, it seemed to be the experienced old men Delron Buckley and Dillon Sheppard, with a combined age of almost 70, and the 22-year-old Thokozani Sekotlong who were causing a lot of problems for Arrows’ rear guard.

For Arrows, Ntuli and Zwane were constantly causing problems for United’s defence, with Philani Shange managing to get behind Peter Petersen a number of times to whip in a cross that was well dealt with by defenders Awal and Mario Booysen, and ’keeper Walters.

Despite the result, the Team of Choice remain in eigth position in an extremely congested league table, and Arrows, two points behind, climb up one position from second from bottom to 14th.

The defeat is also not ideal for United ahead of the following league game against bottom club Orlando Pirates. Larsen’s side could have done with a win to boost their confidence to face the Caf Champions League and MTN 8 runners up who on the weekend booked a Telkom Knock-out final spot, their third of the season.

In the other games that took place yesterday, Free State Stars and Durban’s AmaZulu played to a 1-1 draw at Goble Park while Premiership new boys Polokwane City beat the hapless University of Pretoria 3-0 at a game played at the University of Limpopo.

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