21 November 2008
United suffer defeat in Cape Town
It just wasn't Maritzburg United's night as they went down 2-0 to Santos at the Athlone Stadium on Friday night.
A missed chance by Tony Tsabedze and an unsuccessful penalty from Fadlu Davids compounded United's problems.
The Team of Choice were by no means outplayed, but conceded a late goal in each half in a game which was there for the taking.
Eleazar Rogers did have a couple of half-chances for the Cape side early on, but poor decision making saw two potential goal opportunities go to waste.
Maritzburg’s best chance of the half came after 36 minutes when Lynch Pule struck with a sweetly-timed volley from a Lebohang Kukane cross, but the ball flew too close to Francios Chansa, who made a good reflex save.
The game was crying out for a goal and Romano Scott duly obliged in the 44th minute.
Poor work at the back saw the ball to Graham King, who poked the ball into Scott’s path before the latter buried the ball into the back of the net with a clinical shot across the body of keeper Athiel Mbaha.
The KZN side showed a lot more determination and urgency in the second half as they went in search of an equaliser.
However with Maritzburg throwing bodies forward, the counter attack was always on for Santos.
On two occasions in quick succession they were presented with such opportunities, but no goals arrived as King volleyed over the bar in the 57th minute and Rodgers shot off target after 62 minutes.
With 20 minutes to go it should have been 1-1, but substitute Tsabedze missed a golden opportunity when he blasted over the bar with the goal at his mercy after good work by Sipho Mngomezulu.
Tsabedze tried to make amends a minute later with a shot from the edge of the area, but Chansa got down smartly to make the save.
Santos were however always good for a second goal, which arrived in the 82 minute, not via a counter attack, but from a free kick, which was awarded rather dubiously as Athiel Mbaha was adjudged to have handled the ball outside his box.
Erwin Isaacs was the goal-scorer, hammering home an unstoppable strike from 20-yards out.
Chansa was given the perfect stage to exhibit his trademark showmanship when Maritzburg were awarded an 89th minute penalty after Tsabedze went down inside the box.
Fadlu Davids took the spot kick and Chansa did not disappoint as he made a great save to consolidate Santos’ lead and ensure that the team did not have to endure any nervous moments late on in the game.
Santos: Chansa, Macala, Fransch, Oakes(Manuel 90'), Gabonamong, Arendse, Isaacs, Scott (Ramathlakwana 70'), Van Beulen(Bianchi 84'), King, Rodgers
Maritzburg: Mbaha, Petersen, Dikilu, Mkonza, Ngwepe, Mngomezulu, Pule, Ndlovu (Tsabedze 49'), Maselesele (Khanye 73'), Kukame (Zimba 60'). Davids