Maritzburg United 2-1 AmaZulu FC: Team of Choice fight back to beat Usuthu
Bandile Shandu of Maritzburg United
Two second half goals from Fortune Makaringe and Judas Moseamedi handed the Team of Choice the victory in the KwaZulu-Natal Derby

Maritzburg United boosted their chances of surviving relegation from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) by securing a 2-1 win over AmaZulu FC in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night.

The Team of Choice were hoping to return to winning ways having succumbed to a 3-2 defeat to a resilient Cape Town City side away last weekend.

Mxolisi Kunene and Fortune Makaringe, who both netted against the Citizens, kept their places in the starting line-up as Eric Tinkler looked to mastermind AmaZulu's downfall.

Usuthu were also desperate for a victory after suffering a 4-1 defeat to a ruthless Orlando Pirates side away last weekend.

Defenders Marc Van Heerden and Sibusiso Mabiliso made their return to the starting line-up as Cavin Johnson looked to solidify his defence after his side conceded four goals.

The opening stages of the game were cagey, but the Team of Choice grew in confidence as the match progressed.

Thabiso Kutumela was looking dangerous from set-pieces as he narrowly missed the target, before hitting the crossbar with AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha well-beaten.

Mbatha was the busier of the two keepers as he made two saves to deny Yannick Zakri and Nazeer Allie as the shot-stopper kept the hosts at bay.

AmaZulu managed to break the deadlock against the run of play when Bandile Shandu scored from an own-goal to make it 1-0 to the visitors on the stroke of half-time.

Maritzburg were trailing at the interval and Tinkler made a change at the beginning of the second half - pulling out Zakri and he introduced Judas Moseamedi as the hosts looked to level matters.

However, they were frustrated by the Usuthu defence which was marshalled by Mbongeni Gumede, who was looking to prove a point after being criticised for his performance against his former side Pirates.

Mbatha was also in good form between the sticks for Usuthu as he made good saves to deny Kutumela and Makaringe as the Team of Choice, who had netted 18.2% of their goals in the final 15 minutes of their league games this season, pushed for late goals.

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The former Bloemfontein Celtic keeper was finally beaten with 16 minutes left on the clock when Makaringe scored from close range to make it 1-1 after AmaZulu had failed to clear their lines.

The momentum was with Maritzburg in the latter stages of the game and they grabbed a late winning goal in stoppage time.through Judas Moseamedi, who scored with a great finish to seal a 2-1 win for the hosts.

As a result, Maritzburg remained 16th - two points behind 15th placed Free State STars, while Usuthu also remained 11th on the log.

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