After Brandon Peterson had saved from Kurt Lentjies and David Booysen on 17 and 24 minutes, Maritzburg’s best chances came when Philani Zulu shot just wide with a powerful effort on 34 minutes, followed up shortly by Evans Rusike’s header, which skimmed just over the bar.
Ajax were close to scoring four minutes after half time, but Ali Abondo saw his well struck volley whistling just wide of the post, Maritzburg having their first chance of the second half 10 minutes later when Thamsanqa Teyise headed over the bar.
Rusike then shot wide of goal before the Urban Warriors were reduced to 10 men after Abbubaker Mobara received a second yellow card.
The pressure continued to mount on the Cape side’s defence, Lentjies missing a good chance from close range after being set up by Rusike 12 minutes from time.
The Team of Choice finally had the breakthrough, Thamsanqa Mkhize netting with a deflected free kick six minutes from time to bring some hope to the fans at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
There was some desperate late defending from the home team as they held on for the three points under a barrage of Urban Warriors attacks.
The win takes Maritzburg off the foot of the table, two points above AmaTuks after they drew 2-2 with Polokwane City, with one game to go.
Sundowns beat Wits 1-0 to stretch the lead