Rikhotso fires Royal AM to fourth successive win

Royal AM made it four wins in a row in the 2021/22 DStv Premiership season when they defeated Maritzburg United 2-1 at Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Goals from Victor Letsoalo and Tshepo Rikhotso earned Royal AM the win and the team climbed up to third place on the league standings as a result, while the Team of Choice are placed 11th on the log having netted through Zukile Kewuti.

The Team of Choice controlled the match in the opening proceedings with the likes of Daylon Claasen and Kewuti looking to play through passes for forwards Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Amadou Soukouna.

However, Royal AM defenders Mzwanele Mahashe and Tshepo Rikhotso did well to cut off the supply from the Maritzburg midfield, and the hosts were looking to launch quick counter attacks.

Letsoalo, who came into this clash having netted in three consecutive matches, looked frustrated upfront as the Royal AM hitman was isolated with the likes of Nazeer Allie and Alfred Ndengane doing a good job to contain him.

The score was 0-0 at halftime in the KwaZulu-Natal Derby encounter with the two teams having struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the first half.

Royal AM head coach John Maduka introduced Mfundo Thikazi, who injected some pace into the hosts' attack after the restart and he forced goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt into a great save with with a shot-cum-cross.

Engelhardt was then beaten in the 71st minute when Thikazi delivered a delightful cross which was headed home by Letsoalo to hand Royal AM a 1-0 lead, as the Bafana Bafana international continued his scoring form.

Royal AM then sat back and allowed the visitors to dominate the match, and parity was restored in the 85th minute when Kewuti’s cross deceived keeper Hugo Nyame and flew into the top right-hand corner to make it 1-1.

However, Rikhotso had other ideas as the defender scored from close range in stoppage-time to hand Royal AM a 2-1 victory after Thikazi's free-kick had hit the upright.

Maritzburg United (0) 1 (Kewuti 85')


Royal AM:Nyame, Mahashe, Manganyi, Rikhotso, Mahlasela, Mashikinya, Monamodi, Potsane (Thikazi 67'), Mashiane (Phalane 88'), Letsoalo, MKhize.

Maritzburg United:Engelhardt, Ismail, Allie (Graham 81'), Ndengane, Rae, Theron, Kewuti, Claasen, L.Hlongwane (Skelem 82'), Soukouna, B. Hlongwane (Zumah 87').