Maritzburg had dropped five points in their last two domestic encounters and were in need of bringing home the points and they got off to a steady start as they threatened with their long balls over Chippa’s high defensive line.
Chippa’s first half opportunity fell to Cole Alexander, who has managed to start every game since his move from Ajax Cape Town, when he sliced a diagonal low effort at goal, but it rolled past the far post in the 13th minute.
The Team of Choice was plying on the pressure and they left Chippa shaking when Terrance Mandaza fiercely struck the side netting of goal in the 22nd minute, before Daouda Kassaly had to rush out of his box to push away a ball from Maritzburg’s last man.
All the pressure was coming from the visitors and it was Mandaza who once again threatened at goal when he struck a swirling header just after the half hour.
The pressure finally paid off when Philani Zulu struck a low effort, which took a deflection off Gift Sithole and deflected into the back of the net, 35 minutes in.
Robin Rhode’s first start in the Chilli Boys’ shirt was brought to an abrupt end when early cramps forced him to be replaced by Brent Carlese two minutes before the break.
The second half saw Mfundo Shumana thrown into the set-up when he replaced Petrus Ngebo as they looked to pick up their second half form.
But it was Mthokozisi Yende who had the first effort at goal when his firing shot from range went over the bar in the 55th minute.
A rare possession of the ball for Chippa United saw Alexander try swing in a cross towards Carelse in goal, but his effort was headed out of the box by the Maritzburg backline, 68 minutes in.
Chippa’s frustration in not being able to gain a good spell of possession seemed to grow with needless tackles being flung in and the referee being forced to stop-start the game.
Michael Morton, who started in the loss to Bidvest Wits, was brought into the match for an eight minute run out before Yende was shown a second yellow, in the 89th minute, to see him given his marching orders.
Chippa United: (0) 0
Maritzburg United: (1) 1 (Zulu 35’)
Maritzburg: Walters, Awal, Booysen.M, Petersen, Cloete, Hendricks, Buckley, Yende, Zulu (Morton 82’), Mandaza (Smeekes 65’), Malajila (Evans 92’)
Chippa: Kassaly, Kubheka, Matomane, Sithole, Ntombayithethi, Mnguni, Rhode (Carelse 43’) Alexander, Brown, Ngebo (Shumana 46’), Idrissa