Stars and Maritzburg cruise to victory
AMAZULU's doleful start to the season worsened last night when they suffered a 2-0 defeat at Maritzburg United, while Free State Stars continued to shine in the new Absa Premiership campaign with a 2-1 victory at Chippa United.
A Cuthbert Malajila second-half brace condemned Usuthu in a KwaZulu-Natal derby at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.
Stars, on the other hand, struck an insurance goal late in the game to break the Chilli Boys' hearts and seal a deserved victory at Athlone Stadium.
Paulus Masehe gave Ea Lla Koto a first-half lead, but Welcome Qalanto equalised for the Premiership upstarts just minutes later.
The encounter looked to be heading for a draw before Moeketsi Mvula scored two minutes from the whistle for the Free Staters to maintain their 100% league record this campaign.
AmaZulu are camped at the bottom of the Premiership standings without a win or goal in two league games after a humiliating 6-0 drubbing in their opener.
It was evident last night why AmaZulu have struggled to score in the new season, in Cup and league football. Their players were lazy to get into the box and pinging long balls towards new signing Sifiso Vilakazi was their only attacking plan.
The strategy, however, failed each time as Vilakazi was well marked by the lanky Mario Booysen.
A dry game found some life in the second half. Veteran winger Delron Buckley woke the fans on the hour mark when he weaved past three defenders and fired a stinging left-footed shot which Mbongeni Mzimela coughed up. One of United's outstanding players last season, Malajila reacted quickly to the loose ball and fired in the opening goal.
On loan midfielder Mthokozisi Yende, perhaps trying too hard to prove himself after falling out of favour at Kaizer Chiefs, should have opened the scoring in the first half when he volleyed over the bar.
But he found confidence as the game progressed and put in the through ball which Malajila used to put the scoreline out of Usuthu's reach.
AmaZulu captain Carlington Nyadombo headed over the bar from point-blank range in the dying minutes of the game.