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Shange (Manqanya 45′)
Rodgers (Kombe 31′)
GOLDEN ARROWS 5
2 MARITZBURG UTD
Competition: Absa Premiership
Date: Sunday, 21 February 2009
Venue: Chatsworth Stadium
The KwaZulu-Natal derby was played in searing heat at the Chatsworth Stadium in Durban on Saturday afternoon and resulted in a scintillating game of football that produced seven goals, a red card and probably the miss of the season by Francis Kombe.
Golden Arrows were the best team on the day as they thumped their rivals Maritzburg United 5-2 in a great game of football.
Hunter Gilstrap started in goal for the Team of Choice after Tashrique Goldman failed a last minute fitness test just before kick-off, something his coach, Gordon Igesund, would come to rue at the end of the day. The American goalie proved the difference between the two sides and would most certainly forget about his poor performance in a hurry.
The match started at an entertaining pace with the two teams trading blows like a heavyweight boxer. Arrows certainly landed the first telling strike when they opened the scoring only nine minutes into the game. After a slick passing movement by Arrows, Kola Rodgers found himself with the ball at the edge of the 18 yard box and consequently tried his luck with a swing of his pink right boot. The ball sailed goal-wards and underneath the body of the diving Gilstrap who should have done a lot better, 1-0.
Two minutes later and Nhlanhla Zothwane almost dealt Maritzburg a knockout blow when he doubled Abafana Bes’thende’s lead after a blunder in defence by Gary Goldstone. Zothwane pounced on the defender’s mistake driving the ball home past the despairing Gilstrap, 2-0.
Arrows were clearly the better side in the first 45 as they were continually quicker to the ball while their passes were crisp, fast and accurate.
The second half did not prove much better for Maritzburg than the first. On a positive note they did manage to find two goals, but at the cost of conceding a further three.
The Team of Choice controlled possession in the second half and made it pay when they struck the first blow in the second 45 pulling a goal back through Fanyana Dhladhla after he snatched on a loose ball, during a goal mouth scramble, driving it into the back of the net, 2-1.
Maritzburg’s joy did not last long as Richard Henyekane restored Arrows’ two goal lead five minutes later after a fumbled clearance by Gilstrap landed at the feet of the striker who made no mistake in slotting the ball into an empty net, 3-1.
Then in the space of three minutes the most bizarre moments of the match took place. First, Francis Kombe provided the fans with some laughter when he missed from only a yard out. Gilstrap spilled another shot straight to the feet of Kombe who fired over the crossbar, when it looked easier to score than miss. Then in the 66th minute Mzivukile Tom was sent off for his second yellow card, reducing Arrows to ten men for the remainder of the match.
However, despite being a man down and struggling to get hold of the ball, Joseph Musonda basically wrapped up matters eight minutes from time when he grabbed Arrow’s fourth goal after some more slack defence by United, 4-1.
Henyekane put the game beyond doubt six minute later when he scored his second and his side’s fifth goal to official declare Abafana Bes’thende winners of the KZN derby, 5-1.
Maritzburg did manage to score a consolation goal in the 90th minute through Tony Tsabedze, but it did not change the fact that united were extremely poor on the day and are now definitely one of the favourites to be relegated this season.
Golden Arrows (2) 5 (Rodgers 9′, Zothwane 11′, R Henyekane 59′, 88′, Musonda 82′)
Maritzburg United (0) 2 (Dhladhla 54′, Tsabedze 90′)
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Mkhonza (Dikilu 13′)
Pule (Zimba 45′)
Aka (Mngomezulu 45′)