Durban - A stoppage time goal from Ayanda Dlamini handed AmaZulu a hard fought 3-2 victory over their KZN rivals Maritzburg United in their opening 2010/11 Absa Premiership fixture on Sunday afternoon at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
It was action packed affair at the beautiful Durban stadium which saw five goals netted on the day, the most important by Dlamini (and his second of the match) in added time to hand Usuthu the three points.
Maritzburg in stark comparison will be bitterly disappointed with the loss after twice coming from behind to draw level in the match that was a brilliant display of how football can be played in South Africa.
AmaZulu took the lead early on with Dlamini scoring his first goal in the 13th minute with a fantastic glancing header following a free-kick by Ntokozo Sikhakhane from the left, 1-0.
Martizburg, however, were not to be undone and quickly hitting back and finding an equaliser nine minutes later. The Team of Choice equalised through Rudolph Bester. Bester tapped in from close range after Mbongeni Mzimela failed to deal with a Kurt Lentjies' free-kick into the area, 1-1.
The sides were not on level terms for too long as Usuthu regained the lead in the 38th minute. Lehlohonolo Majoro headed home powerfully on his debut for AmaZulu following a pin-point cross by Sikhakhane from the right, 2-1.
Seven minutes into the second half and United found an equaliser for the second time, but not from the boots of one of their own players. Siphiwe Mkhonza, with very little pressure on him, scored a wonder own goal from about 30 yards out. Lobbing the ball back to his own keeper but completely misjudging the pass that found the back of his own net, 2-2.
Thereafter the game went from end to end in a very fast paced and exciting game. Still no side could find the winning goal. That was until a piece of individual brilliance from Dlamini saw him finish as the hero on the day for AmaZulu.
Dlamini controlled a pass superbly on his chest before cutting in from the left and curling the ball past Shuaib Walters in stoppage time, 3-2.
AmaZulu 3 (Dlamini 13’ + 90’, Majoro 38’)
Maritzburg 2 (Bester 22’, Mkhonza 52’ og)
AmaZulu: Mzimela, Mkhonza, Ariweriyai, Bishop, G. Dlamini, Gumede, Mbhele, Sikhakhane, Hadebe, Majoro, A. Dlamini.
Maritzburg: Walters, Ngwepe, Diouf, Madidilani, Nyatama, Madondo, Booysen, Lentjies, Davids, Obada, Bester.