Maritzburg, Tuks share spoils
Pietermaritzburg - Two controversial first half penalties ensured that Maritzburg United and the University of Pretoria ended the year with a point apiece, drawing 1-1 draw at the Harry Gwala
Stadium here on Tuesday night.
Mame Niang put Tuks in front after 13 minutes, before Cuthbert Malajila replied in the 35th minute, although both sets of players were unhappy each time that referee Buyile Gqubule made his decision.
The point lifted the Team of Choice up to fourth place, above Free State Stars who play on Wednesday night, while the more enterprising AmaTuks remained in sixth place.
Ayanda Lubelo had the first opening for the visitors after just six minutes when he beat the off-side trap to get to a long ball from Aubrey Ngoma from the left, only to head the chance over.
However, there was no let off for the hosts after 13 minutes when Niang was brought down in the box by Shuaib Walters after a terrific through ball by Thokozani Sekotlong with referee Buyile Gqubule pointing straight to the spot, much to the anger of the home fans and players.
The Senegalese front-man dusted himself off and slotted home handing the visitors the lead.
Niang should have doubled the advantage 10 minutes later when Ngoma delivered to his feet, but the striker shot over the bar from just inside the box.
At the other end, Maritzburg finally had their first opening midway through the half when Washington Arubi spilt a long-range attempt by Mohammed Awal, but was rescued by one of his defenders.
Tebogo Monyai was then controversially deemed to have brought down Malajila in the box 10 minutes before the interval, with the Zimbabwean stepping up to level the game at 1-1.
After the break the free-flowing nature of the game continued as Terrance Mandaza capitalised on some sloppy play, before having his shot deflected wide by a defender.
Mandaza then turned provider as he played in Malajila on the right side of the box, but the shot was squeezed wide.
Steve Barker’s men again had a glorious opening on the hour mark after Niang flicked on for Lubelo, who was sprinted through and shot wide with just Walters to beat.
The same AmaTuks player had another easy chance that he pushed wide after a fine run and cross from Ngoma on the left. Niang and David Radebe
had further chances late on, which they too failed to take as the visitors had to settle for a share of the spoils. Scores:
Maritzburg United (1)1 (Malajila 36’)
University of Pretoria (1) 1 (Niang 12’) Teams:
Maritzburg United: Walters, Awal (De Jongh 77’), Booysen M, Matuka (Hendricks 46’), Petersen, Morton, Booysen D, Yende (Zulu 70’), Buckley, Mandaza, Malajila
University of Pretoria: Arubi, Mphahlele, Monyai, Mkhwanazi, Ngoma, Matsi, Ketjijere, Lubelo (Zungu 73’), Niang (Ngwenya 88’), Sekotlong (Radebe 60’), Mosadi