Absa Premiership

Maritzburg, Santos draw

2012-04-08 17:20
Diyo Sibisi celebrates (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Maritzburg United and Santos shared the spoils, playing a 1-1 draw in their Absa Premiership match at the Harry Gwala Stadium in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands on Sunday.

United, who suffered their third draw in a row, had taken a half-time lead after a dominant first 45 minutes with striker Diyo Sibisi displaying a superb first touch before burying the opener after 32 minutes.

The visiting Cape side, though, came back swiftly after the break as substitute Jonathan Armogam slipped in his second goal of the season in the 76th minute.

The hosts committed the error of sitting back and conserving on their early score.

Santos, who are second from the bottom with 20 points, were able to salvage a point to end their recent run of four successive losses.

They had a poor start to the game they approached without suspended Erwin Isaacs, and the injured duo of Matty Pattison and Eleazor Rodgers.

Rookie Cheslyn Jampies had a nightmare at left back as he was continuously caught out, forcing an early introduction of the seasoned Ricardo Skippers in the 26th minute.

In contrast to the second stanza, United were cutting through the Santos defence with ease with the pace of Zimbabwean Cuthbert Malajila, who linked well with Sibisi.

Malajila had the first clear-cut chance at the opening proceedings as his shot went across the face of goal after 14 minutes.

Sibisi then turned provider for Malajila, who forced a reflex save from Dembo Touray from Jampies's side.

Midfielder Wayne Matle soon fashioned a header inside the penalty area, with his effort going wide.

Santos were overwhelmed, and against the run of play, manufactured their only meaningful attempt through Bheki Shabangu shortly before the break, drawing a save from Shu-Aib Walters.

The People's Team were better in the second half as United took their foot off the pedal.

They introduced SA Under-23 striker Riaan Eugene for Shabangu, with Jurie Bassie soon finding himself in the box but his poorly shot wide after 56 minutes.

With 20 minutes left, Santos were also afforded a set piece near the box, with captain Nasief Morris hitting it straight at Walters before they forced a goal moments later.

This forced United to make a late surge in the final 10 minutes, however, Wayne Arendse should have sealed a come-from-behind victory but shot wide in front of goal in the dying moments.

The Team of Choice now have 26 points after 24 games as they fight for a midtable finish.

Read more on:    psl  |  soccer
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