A late goal from Khumbulani Banda helped Maritzburg United end their eight game winless run as they defeated Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 at a sold-out Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday. Chiefs had the majority of the possession throughout the first half but it was arguably Maritzurg who had the better of the chances, and should have taken the lead in the 17th minute after Willard Katsande failed to clear a cross into the box, which fell kindly for Thamsanqa Mkhize, but the midfielder blasted his shot wide. Clear goal scoring chances were few and far between for Amakhosi as they could not break down the hosts’ congested defence.
Stuart Baxter’s men began the second-half with far more determination and could have taken the lead as Tefu Mashamaite rose highest to connect with a Bernard Parker cross but his header went over the bar. Mashamaite had the ball in the back of the net for the visitors in the 58th minute, but it was correctly ruled out as the ball had gone out of play before it was crossed into the box. The match looked like it was heading towards a stalemate, before the Team of Choice took the lead in stunning fashion as 80th minute substitute Banda scored with his first touch as he headed home a Maritzburg corner to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
Baxter’s boys piled on the pressure on the home goal as they searched for an equaliser and came agonisingly close as Siboniso Gaxa’s volley deep in added time hit the bar, but Steve Komphela’s men held on for the crucial win.