Lack of finishing cost us the KZN Derby today at Mpumalanga Stadium in Hammersdale against Maritzburg United. It was an unexpected result based on our performance so far in the competition, but the team could just not get behind the defence and convert our opportunities that were created.
The first half saw both sides in an end to end battle to try and find space and position to score, but neither side created any clear cut plays to put them in that position until the last minute of the half when Hlongwane narrowly put the ball wide of the mark.
The second half seemed to pick up in pace. Both teams put in some work on the ball and pushed into the last third. We dominated play and position, but the heavy defence from Maritzburg made it difficult to find the space to put the shots in.
When in the last third, we failed to finish off in a favourable manner and then allowed Maritzburg to counter easily. Frustration set in for both sides, which saw some yellow cards being issued on both sides.
Maritzburg broke the deadlock in the 86th minute off a free kick just in our half. A well placed kick from the set piece gave Sithole the opportunity to lobby the ball into the net and he executed the shot well.
We now have to wait for AmaZulu to play Chippa United tomorrow to see whether we qualify for the semi finals, which will be played on the 22nd of April.