MARITZBURG SUFFER LATE HEARTBREAK AGAINST PIRATES
2 September 2020
Maritzburg United were sunk by a 90th minute goal in an Absa Premiership match against Orlando Pirates at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday night.
In what had been an evenly contested 90 minutes, a draw would probably have been fair result, but that didn’t prove the case as Gabadinho Mhango came off the bench to win the match 1-0 for the Soweto side..
The first half was a tight affair, as both teams showed good focus in defence and worked hard to make it difficult for the strikers to have any space.
The Team of Choice had some promising moments in the first 20 minutes of the game, enjoying quite a bit of the ball. They didn't however have much to show for their efforts apart from a couple of corners and a blocked Thabiso Kutumela shot.
As the half progressed, Pirates began to ask more questions, though the Maritzburg goal wasn't really threatened as Thembinkosi Lorch fired wide twice in succession before Siphesihle Nlovu made a dangerous run but had his shot blocked.
Just when United were starting to pick up some momentum towards the end of the first half, they had a big scare in their own box when Vincent Pule's swerving shot from 25-yards out smacked into the upright.
There was action straight after the restart - a goalmouth scramble in the Maritzburg box saw the ball falling kindly for Lorch, but Ofori was up to the task with a brilliant reflex save.
Just before the hour mark the Team of Choice had a decent chance of their own when Bongokuhle Hlongwane picked up the ball on the edge of the area and curled in a lovely dipping shot, but it was well saved by Wayne Sandilands.
Eight minutes later they were even closer after Kutumela went on a surging run before missing the target by inches with a powerful snap effort from the 18-yard box.
A tense period followed before the next real chance arrived; an 88th minute free kick from Mhango which drew a smart save from Ofori.
Just two minutes later though and Mhango got the better of the Ghana keeper after he had turned sharply in the box to elude a couple of defenders before pulling the trigger.
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