Maritzburg thrash Royal AM in KZN derby

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PIETERMARITZBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 15: Maritzburg United celebrates scoring during the DStv Premiership match between Maritzburg United and Royal AM at Harry Gwala Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
PIETERMARITZBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 15: Maritzburg United celebrates scoring during the DStv Premiership match between Maritzburg United and Royal AM at Harry Gwala Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

Maritzburg United secured back-to-back wins in the DStv Premiership for the first time this season after defeating Royal AM 3-1 on Sunday evening.

Amadou Soukouna and Tumelo Njoti came in to the Maritzburg set up, while Royal AM rewarded forward Motebang Sera with another starting berth following his performance against AmaZulu.

Royal AM did put the host to work in the opening few minutes where a powerful effort outside target by Tebogo Potsane forced goalkeeper Renaldo Leaner into a neat save.

Maritzburg defender Bonginkosi Makume's evening was cut short after picking up an injury, which saw Brian Hlongwa come on just inside the opening 15 minutes of the match.

Maritzburg went ahead ten minutes before  halftime when Soukouna latched onto Karim Kimvuidi’s snap pass in space and slotted over the on-rushing Hugo Nyame.

The Team of Choice nabbed a second goal on the stroke of halftime as Soukouna secured his brace with a simple finish from close-range off a shot that bounced off the post.

With Shaune Mogaila introduced by Royal AM, the visitors began to camp in the opposite half and balls around the final entry caused the Team of Choice to sit back and hold their lines.

Thwihli Thwahla still pushed for a way back inside full-back through rasping shots by Ruzaigh Gamildien and Menzi Masuku, but both failed to test Leaner.

However, Maritzburg bagged a third goal in added time after Friday Sau beat Philani Cele to a long ball and charged forward to slot in from a tight angle.

More late drama followed though when Mfundo Thikazi drop in space from a tight angle of the area and slotted into the roof of the net, but it didn’t lead to a comeback as United bagged victory.

Confirmed line-ups:

Maritzburg United: Learner, Makume, De Goede, Moloisane, Graham, Jooste, Human, Bhengu, Njoti, Soukouna, Karim

Subs: Ndlovu, Meza, Hlongwa, Ritchie, Theron, Ndengane, Samu, Van der Ross, Palace.

Royal AM: Nyame, Nascimento, Matlaba, Rikhotso, Kobedi, Cele, Ndlovu, Mahlasela, Potsane, Pelembe, Sera

Subs: Ngcobo, Mogaila, Manganyi, Mashiane, Thikazi, Macuphu, Masuku, Gamildien, Dlamini

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