DESPITE playing most of the second half with ten men Maritzburg United defeated Lamontville Golden Arrows 1-0 at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday afternoon to reach the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup.
The Team of Choice were reduced to ten men early in the second half but a solitary strike from Cuthbert Malajila was enough to see them beating their provincial rivals.
The visitors threatened in the second minute when a powerful free kick from Kurt Lentjies picked up a wicked deflection from the wall, but Arrows goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede was able to push the ball wide.
Collins Mbesuma had the first chance for the home side four minutes later when he received the ball on the edge of the penalty area but fired his shot straight at Shu-Aib Walters.
United thought they had taken the lead in the 10th minute when a long free kick from Byron Hendricks bounced in front of Gumede before looping over the young goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
However, the referee had awarded an indirect free kick and since no other United player had touched the ball the goal was not allowed to stand.
The match started to come to life midway through the first half with both sides looking to keep the ball on the ground under windy conditions.
Arrows came close to breaking the deadlock in the 26th minute when Nkosi delivered a cross from the left to find Philani Shange at the far post, but his attempt was kept out by a good block from Walters.
United had a chance at the other end in the 28th when Kurt Lentjies found himself with space outside the penalty area, but his effort flew wide of the post, while Felix Obada saw his shot saved by Gumede five minutes later.
The best chance of the half fell for Mbesuma when he received a low cross from Nkosi on the edge of the six yard box, but his effort was blocked by Walters to keep the score unchanged going into the break.
However, Ernst Middendorp saw his side reduced to ten men three minutes into the second half when Lentjies was shown a straight red card for a poor tackle on Shange.
Nkosi continued to trouble the United defence and in the 65th minute he beat two defenders before setting up Mbesuma on the edge of the box, but Walters pulled off a great one-handed save to block his shot.
From the rebound, Dillon Sheppard set the ball up for substitute Katlego Mashego, but his curled effort went wide of the top left corner.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 73rd minute when substitute Wayne Matle delivered a free kick from the right side; the Arrows defence failed to clear the danger allowing the unmarked Malajila to tap the ball in from close range.
Then Walters continued with his heroics, denying Mashego in the 83rd minute before pushing away a fierce effort from the same player four minutes later.
Arrows came close to finding the equalizer in the fourth minute of added time when Sheppard fired a low shot from outside the box, but yet again his effort was thwarted away by Walters.
Nkosi then fired against the post from the rebound, while Mbesuma saw his follow-up shot headed off the line by Mor Diouf as the visitors held on for a narrow win.
Golden Arrows 0
Maritzburg United (0) 1 (Malajila 73’)
Teams:Gumede, Tom, Bilankulu, Mvalo, Sheppard, Mkhize, Van Heerden (Mashego 60’), Khuboni, Nkosi, Mbesuma, Shange (Mthembu 84’)
Maritzburg United: Walters, Evans, Diouf, Matuka (Olomu 56’), Lentjies, Madondo, Obada (Matle 68’), Booysen, Morton, Hendricks, Malajila (Sibisi 79’)-Backpagepix