FIGHT-BACK TOO LATE AS MARITZBURG EDGED OUT IN FIVE-GOAL THRILLER
7 December 2021
Maritzburg United were on the wrong end of a 3-2 defeat to Cape Town City in a DstvPremiership encounter at the DHL Stadium on Tuesday evening.
City took the lead after just 10 minutes when Mduduzi Mdantsane intercepted Alfred Ndengane’s back-pass, side-stepped past goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt and scored.
Maritzburg were presented with a great chance to level matters 10 minutes later when Keagan Ritchie broke up the left wing and played the ball to Bongokuhle Hlongwane, whose cross was worked towards Daylon Claasen in the box, only for him to pull the shot wide.
The Cape side then had further chances through Mdantsane, one of which was saved by Engelhardt while the other flew over goal. Fagrie Lakay wasted another chance for the hosts when he found the side-netting on the half hour mark.
Having tried to play their way back into the game ahead of the interval, the Team of Choice’s task was made even more difficult when City doubled their advantage just a couple of minutes into the second half when Lakay fired in a crisp low shot from the edge of the box.
The goal spurred Maritzburg into action as the visiting side came fighting back. Chances were created, but not taken, as Zukile Kewuti was beaten to Hlongwane’s back-post cross before Rowan Human squandered a good opportunity by taking too long on the ball and then the same player failed to get a decisive touch on a cut-back from the energetic Hlongwane. Ndengane also went close with a low angled drive.
The KwaZulu-Natal Capital City side had their reward in the 70th minute when Travis Graham picked out Lelethu Skelm on the edge of the City box. Skelm did superbly to pluck the ball out of the air and fire in a sizzling half-volley.
However, the Citizens restored their two-goal cushion in the 82nd minute when Tashrique Morris headed in at the back post.
To the Team of Choice’s credit they didn’t give up and once more they pulled a goal back, thanks to a clinical and composed finish from Hlongwane.
They pushed City all the way to the final whistle, but just couldn't break down the home defence again.
STARTING XI: Engelhardt, Claasen, Ndengane, Ritchie, Human, Ntshangase, Rae, Graham, Kewuti, Hlongwane and Theron.
SUBS: Petersen, McDonald, Daniels, Zondi, Dlamuka, Ismail, Cele, Skelem and Bhengu.
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