Maritzburg United striker Friday Samu’s headed goal in the first half of their KwaZulu-Natal derby against Royal AM was enough to bag the Team of Choice all three points.
Samu got up to head in a corner kick that was whipped in by Keegan Ritchie to give Maritzburg United a lead that they held onto against their high-flying rivals.
Watch: Samu gives Maritzburg United three valuable points
John Maduka had rotated his side that lost to Mamelodi Sundowns in the cup over the weekend.
Victor Letsoalo was dropped to the bench, and Royal AM recalled the likes of Ndumiso Mabena and Tebogo Potsane.
Mxolisi Macuphu and Thabo Matlaba were absent through suspension and injury respectively.
An early injury to Wandile Mabuza forced Maduka to make another change and Royal AM struggled to regain ther flow.
Friday Samu of Maritzburg United Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
With the Fans of Choice back at Harry Gwala to help get the team over the line there was once again an energy to Maritzburg United at home.
Maritzburg United goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt wasn’t kept too busy in the first half until Mfundo Thikazi forced a sharp save out of the stopper.
After the break, Royal AM finally introduced Letsoalo and he would have the best chance of the game for his side but Engelhardt proved equal to the attempt.
In the latter stages Royal AM poured bodies forward but they could not break down the resolute hosts.
Here’s how they lined up
Maritzburg: 31. Engelhardt, 17. Claasen, 5. Daniels, 4. Allie, 2. Pereira, 6. Graham, 23. Lukhubeni, 16. Ritchie, 28. Palace, 20. Samu, 9. Macheke.
Subs: 1. Petersen, 12. Baloyi, 19. Skelem, 11. Soukouna, 22. Theron, 25. Ismail, 42. Rae, 8. Kewuti, 27. Ndengane.
Royal AM: 16. Nyame, 17. Mogaila, 19. Matjila, 28. Mabuza, 13. Manganyi, 2. Msomi, 18. Mashikinya, 12. Mahlasela, 11. Potsane, 34. Thikazi, 10. Mabena.
Subs: 1. Heugh, 46. Mdluli, 4. Mzila, 21. Letsoalo, 45. George, 50. Masuku, 24. Lingwati, 36. Maxwele, 42. Ncobeni.
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