Maritzburg stun Downs to ease relegation fears

Maritzburg United caused an upset when they edged out Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium in a DStv Premiership match on Saturday night.

Despite the win, the Team of Choice remained 12th on the league standings, but they are now four points above the relegation zone. Masandawana remain at the top of the standings – 16 points above second-placed Kaizer Chiefs and it was only their second defeat of the season in the competition.

Marcel Engelhardt was a busy man with Masandawana determined to open the scoring inside the first 15 minutes of the game. The Maritzburg goalkeeper denied Peter Shalulile and Lesedi Kapinga with the Team of Choice under siege.

However, Shalulile, who is sitting at the top of the DStv Premiership scoring charts, was not to be denied in the 37th minute. The former Highlands Park striker beat Engelhardt to hand Sundowns a 1-0 lead with the in-form Haashim Domingo providing the assist.

The goal did not deter the hosts as they surged forward and they were awarded a corner-kick. Alfred Ndengane rose above everyone in the visitors’ box and headed home Keagan Ritchie’s corner-kick to make it 1-1 and it was the former Orlando Pirates star’s second goal in as many games.

The score was 1-1 during the half-time break following a first-half which saw Maritzburg fight back to hold the reigning DStv Premiership champions.

Masandawana continued to apply pressure on the Team of Choice after the restart and they were unlucky not to restore their lead when Kapinga’s effort was cleared off the goal-line. Shalulie also had his attempted cleared off the goal-line with Maritzburg kept busy at the back.

Sundowns were awarded a penalty after Nazeer Allie was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box with seven minutes left and the visitors had a chance to snatch a late winning goal. However, Themba Zwane was denied by Engelhardt from the spot

It was end-to-end stuff in the closing stages of the game and the hosts were also awarded a penalty after keeper Kennedy Mweene had conceded a foul in the visitors’ box in stoppage time. Amadou Soukouna stepped up and beat Mweene to seal Maritzburg’s 2-1 on the night.

Maritzburg (1) 2 (Ndengane 41′, Soukouna 90’+2)
Sundownns (1) 1 (Shalulile 37′)

Maritzburg: Engelhardt, Claasen, Daniels, Allie, Ndengane (Palace 46′), Ntshangase (Human 60′), Lukhubeni, Ritchie, Ismail (Baloyi 77′), Samu (Bhengu 90’+1), Macheke (Soukouna 60′).

Sundowns: Mweene, Lakay (Modiba 85′), De Reuck, Kekana, Mudau (Zwane 65′), Mokoena, Mkhulise, Domingo (Maema 63′), Morena, Kapinga (Kutumela 66′), Shalulile.

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