Durban - Maritzburg United dealt Cape Town City a massive blow in
their pursuit for the Premiership title with a 1-0 victory at the Harry Gwala
Stadium on Monday.
Team of Choice captain Kurt Lentjies scored the only goal
after 84 minutes when he squeezed an 18-yard free-kick past Shu-aib Walters.
In what was a dour display on a dry and hot afternoon in
Pietermaritzburg, the visitors failed to create a chance in the first half,
before improving in the second.
But they missed out on the chance to move back to the top of
the table, instead remaining on 49 points from 26 matches, one behind leaders
Mamelodi Sundowns, who have two games in hand, with Maritzburg staying seventh.
The hosts made a bright start to the game and had an
excellent chance inside two minutes when Mlondi Dlamini's excellent low shot
from outside the box forced Walters into a diving stop to his right.
They had another chance midway through the half when the
same young attacker was picked out the box, only to blaze over this time.
Fortune Makaringe and Lebohang Maboe also blasted over not
too long after as the Team of Choice continued to make most of the running.
Lentjies did have the ball in the back of the net 10 minutes
from the interval, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
In stoppage time, Makaringe again wastefully hit the ball
over as the two teams ended the opening period goalless.
After the break, Aubrey Ngoma finally had a first shot on
goal for City when he dragged his attempt across the face of Walters' goal.
Substitute Andrea Fileccia then had the best chance of the
game when Dlamini spun his man down the right and crossed for the Belgian, who
appeared to be hurried and ended up shooting wide.
Tshepo Gumede and Ngoma had further chances for the Citizens
as the half progressed, but both were again off target.
With time running out, Siphesihle Ndlovu won a free-kick on
the left edge of the box and Lentjies squeezed the ball in at the near post,
where Walters should have done better than getting a soft hand to the ball.
The goal proved to be the only one as Maritzburg edged
closer towards ending the season in the top eight.