TEAM OF CHOICE UP AND RUNNING WITH BAROKA WIN
11 September 2021
Maritzburg United secured their first league win of the new DStv Premiership season after resolutely grinding out a 1-0 win away at Baroka FC, despite playing most of the second half a man short up at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday evening.
A first goal in the league for new signing Richard Zumah earned Ernst Middendorp’s side the maximum points.
The Team of Choice made a positive start to the game and after controlling the tempo in the opening 15 minutes their efforts were rewarded when Zumah found the net, having superbly rounded Baroka keeper Oscarine Masuluke with some neat footwork, following a through ball from Travis Graham.
Maritzburg remained on the front foot, with Bongokuhle Hlongwane's energy giving the Baroka defence problems.
The Bafana striker had a headed effort in the 25th after a freekick from Alfred Ndengane, but the ball went straight at Masuluke.
The remainder of the opening half saw the KwaZulu-Natal side remaining comfortably in command, although not able to further threaten the home goal.
Five minutes into the second half Maritzburg had their numbers cut to 10 men after Hlongwane received a second yellow card for a miss-timed challenge.
As the game went on, United found themselves under increasing pressure from the home side. The visitors were resolute in defence though, one example coming in the 71st minute when some brave defending saw Maritzburg escaping from a goalmouth scramble.
The Team of Choice players were prepared to put bodies on the line for the cause and this was the case for goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt in the 83rd minute when he took a boot in the region of his face after pouncing on a loose ball. That proved the end of Baroka substitute Thamsanqa Masiya's evening as he was shown his second yellow, the hosts also reduced to 10 men in the 83rd minute.
The Limpopo side however remained on top and peppered the Maritzburg box with crosses and shots. And with seven additional minutes after the 90, it took some outstanding commitment and concentration to make it through to the end with all three points intact.
* For the latest news on Maritzburg United, follow or like us on our social media handles listed below in the Fans section*