19 March 2009

Maritzburg march on in Nedbank Cup

Maritzburg United are through to the Nedbank Cup last eight after beating Santos 2-1 at Athlone on Friday night.

Overall it was a relatively evenly balanced game with Santos enjoying the better of the first half, before Maritzburg upped their tempo in the second stanza to force the game into extra time.

The home team had the first good opportunity on goal, but Erwin Isaacs blasted over the bar from close range after his initial shot from a tight angle was saved by Michel Babale.

In the 19th minute Isaacs earned his side a penalty when he won the ball in midfield, played a one-two with Eleazar Rodgers before going down in the box under a challenge from Gary Goldstone, despite the contact appearing very minimal.

Tyren Arendse made no mistake from the spot to give the People’s Team a 1-0 lead.

Santos had further chances, but Isaacs’ curler was saved by Babale, while Ryan Chapman pulled a shot wide of goal and Tawonga Chimodzi went close with a dipping volley from 25-yards out.

The Cape side had two good opportunities ten minutes into the second half as Goldstone nearly deflected the ball into his own net, forcing Babale to make a smart save – Babale then also did well to tip Bongi Macala’s header over the bar.

United however began to exert pressure on the Santos defence and were rewarded when Simphiwe Mkhonza found space from a corner to turn in the box and finish with a clinical low shot in the 62nd minute.

It was his first goal since November 2002, when still playing for Golden Arrows.

Goldstone nearly got the winner 15 minutes from time, but a powerful drive flew just over the bar.

In the 80th minute Santos were reduced to 10 men when Tyren Arendse was given his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card.

With both side’s tiring in extra time, there were no clear-cut chances to speak of - the game however seemed to be heading for a penalty shoot-out, until Fadlu Davids found himself in the right place at the right time to flick Mkhonza’s long throw into the net, with just three minutes remaining on the clock.


Santos: Chansa, W Arendse, Otieno, Gabonamong, Fransch, Macala, T Arendse, Chimodzi (Manuel 72’), Chapman, Rodgers (Mathopa 112’), Isaacs

Maritzburg: Babale, Petersen (Ncubeni 105’), Goldstone, Mkhonza, Ngwepe, Dhaldhla, Arwuah, Mbemba (Pule 46’), Mngomezulu, Davids, Zimba