Absa Premiership

Arrows shoot down Martizburg to get season underway with a win

Golden Arrows (File)
Golden Arrows (File)

Cape Town - Hosts Golden Arrows held on to a 1-0 win against Maritzburg United at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban on Sunday.

Arrows earned the bragging rights in the KwaZulu-Natal derby thanks to strike just seconds into the second half against their northern rivals.

Early on, Maritzburg were content to let Arrows move the ball around the back, opting for a low press with a tight midfield.

While it was a bright and highly competitive start, clear cut chances were slim. In the 22nd minute, Maritizburg had a chance on the break, but a crucial slide tackle from Siyabonga Dube nipped the ball away from the advancing attacker.

There was a chance at the other end of the park for Arrows ten minutes later. Danny Venter fired in a dangerous curling cross from a free kick, which was cleared in front of goal by defender Rushine De Reuck.

Martizburg’s Judas Moseamedi had arguably the best chance of the half when a break down the near side touchline saw Gabriel Nyoni cross the ball into the danger area, where Moseamedi was just beaten to the ball by Arrowa captain Matome Mathiane.

Unfortunately for fans, the half ended goalless with both keepers largely spectators for the opening 45 minutes.

But fans were rewarded early in the second stanza. A beautiful ball over the defenders put midfielder Michael Gumede in space, who produced a delicate left foot to chip ball over Maritzburg stopper Richard Ofori to make it 1-0.

Later, a clumsy challenge by Miguel Timm forced a yellow card out of the referee’s pocket. Martizburg subsequently stole the ball and a goalmouth scramble saw the ball bobble out into space, where a flying Bandile Shandu sent a powerful effort goalward, only for Divine Lungu to make a fantastic block.

An under pressure Arrow outfit were then forced to clear the ball off the line in the 79th minute. A whipping corner found the head of Mxolisi Kunene, who deflected the ball past goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, only for another piece of divine intervention from Lungu to deny the visitors from equalising.

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