PSL

Maritzburg help end Sundowns title challenge

2017-05-17 22:12
Yannick Zakri (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Although they netted first through Brian Onyango and Evans Rusike, Maritzburg United drew 2-2 against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday night at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

The draw puts the Team of Choice at number seven with 37 points, with one match to wrap their 2016/17 Premier Soccer League season.

A late double from Cote d'Ivoire striker Yannick Zakri gave the Brazilians the deserved point as they failed to defend the league title.

The penultimate encounter saw the hosts taking the game to the Team of Choice and Tebogo Langerman saw his effort being saved by United goalkeeper Virgil Vries in the first minute.

In the 29th minute, Onyango handed the hosts the lead when he converted with a powerful header after meeting a pinpoint cross, 1-0. 

Three minutes later, Vries was equal to the task as he denied Teko Modise's well directed header to the far post as he showed his quality between the sticks.

In the 40th minute, Percy Tau delivered a wonderful cross in search of Khama Billiat, but the Zimbabwean couldn't connect with the pass. 

It was 1-0 to United at half-time.

In the 68th minute, United doubled their lead when Rusike outpaced Sundowns' Motjeka Madisha and managed to beat Mweene on his near post, 2-0.

In the last nine minutes, a dangerous combination between Hlompho Kekana and Tau in the box saw Vries punching away the skipper's well struck shot over the cross bar for a corner kick.

Yet with two minutes to go, substitute Zakri broke the deadlock for the hosts after a defence splitting pass from the midfield, 2-1.

In the injury time, Vries failed to collect the ball in the box and Sundowns scored their second goal through Zakri, but it was not enough as they were dethroned as league champions.

The point for Sundowns means they remain placed second on the log, behind new champions Bidvest Wits with one league game left in the season.

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Saturday, 27 May 2017
Ajax Cape Town v Baroka FC, Cape Town Stadium 15:00
Kaizer Chiefs v Wits, FNB Stadium 15:00
Free State Stars v Chippa United, Goble Park 15:00
Maritzburg United v Bloemfontein Celtic, Harry Gwala Stadium 15:00
SuperSport United v Platinum Stars, Lucas Moripe Stadium 15:00
Highlands Park v Mamelodi Sundowns, Makhulong Stadium 15:00
Golden Arrows v Orlando Pirates, Moses Mabhida Stadium 15:00
Polokwane City v Cape Town City FC, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:00
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