Durban – Bernard Parker scored the only goal of the game as Kaizer Chiefs beat Maritzburg United in a delayed game at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday to record their fourth DStv Premiership win in five games.
Chiefs broke the deadlock just after the hour mark. Maritzburg appeared to be having some trouble defending against set-pieces and it was hardly surprising that it as led to the winning goal.
Amakhosi played a corner short before a lofted ball over the top found its way to Parker, who struck neatly into the net with his head.
The start of the game was delayed by more than 90 minutes owing to faulty stadium lights. Play was scheduled to start at 5:30pm but instead only did so just after 7pm.
As has been the case in recent meetings between the two teams, the first half was a fairly physical one. Chiefs may have slightly had more possession but they did not dominate.
One of the interesting tactical decisions taken by Maritzburg saw them play the left-footed Keegan Ritchie as a right-back while the right-footed Nazeer Allie was slotted into the left-back role. This was likely a tactical decision taken in lieu of Chiefs opting to start with Keagan Dolly and Khama Billiat.
Chiefs had their first opportunity after eight minutes as Eric Mathoho found himself in a good position to score following a lofted free-kick. His effort was too easy to save for Team of Choice goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt.
Soon afterwards, Bongokuhle Hlongwane got into the Chiefs 18-yard area after being released by Amadou Soukouna and produced a good cut-back but his shot was too weak to trouble Daniel Akpeyi in goal for Chiefs.
Hlongwane later produced a good through ball to Daylon Claasen. The latter did well to beat the offside trap but lacked his pace of yesteryear in order to get himself into a position to score.
Despite going down, Maritzburg pushed for an equalizer as box-to-box player Rowan Human forced an unsure save from Akpeyi in the 77th minute with a testing shot from range.
The tempo of the game towards the end became chaotic as both teams regularly got the ball and gave it away but Chiefs did what they needed to do to preserve the win in the end.
Chiefs will now prepare to host AmaZulu at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday. Maritzburg United next travel to Limpopo for a game against Marumo Gallants at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, also on Wednesday.