TEAM OF CHOICE FIGHT BRAVELY FOR A POINT AGAINST SUNDOWNS
5 December 2020
Maritzburg United showed great character in coming from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns in a pulsating DStv Premiership match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday evening.
Maritzburg exhibited good spirit throughout the game and started the match with some strong play, taking the play to the league leaders.
Some early chances materialised for the Team of Choice, including a 15th minute header from Peter Shalulile following a cross from Keegan Buchanan, which was saved by Denis Onyango.
Sundowns though were also looking dangerous and it took a brilliant sliding challenge by Nazeer Allie three minutes later to clear Shalulile's goalbound effort off the line.
Both sides then had opportunities as Sebastian Mwange made a great reflex save from a stinging shot by Shalulile after which Kutumela had another effort saved following a lovely combination involving Kwanda Mngonyama and Judas Moseamedi.
However, United suffered a 31st minute setback when Themba Zwane converted a low cross for his sixth league goal of the season.
Maritzburg though showed excellent spirit to fight back and went close six minutes later when Kutumela cut inside and flashed a curling effort just wide.
After the half time interval, the Tshwane giants squandered a chance to double their lead when Mwange saved from Kermit Erasmus before Shalulile ballooned the ball over an unguarded goal on the rebound.
The Team of Choice suffered another blow when Mwange was forced off the field soon after, having injured himself while landing. He was replaced by Jethren Barr.
Still though the hosts kept battling and they got stronger as the second half went on. And they were to be rewarded with an equaliser on the hour mark as Mngonyama superbly headed in at the far post from a Dan Morgan corner.
After some more enterprising play from United, it was instead Masandawana midfielder Hlompho Kekana who let fly with a long range belter, which Barr did well to save.
The game remained tense, and Maritzburg could even have claimed all three points when in the 86th minute Kutumela went clean through on goal, but Onyango reacted swiftly to make the block.
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