Absa Premiership

Late goal sees 'Downs held by Maritzburg

2018-04-25 21:54
Tebogo Langerman (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Maritzburg United again proved to be a thorn in the side of Mamelodi Sundowns after snatching a 2-2 draw at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The visitors began strongly as they looked hungry to make up for their weekend cup exit. Tiyani Mabunda fired narrowly over after just two minutes, while Khama Billiat drew a diving stop from Richard Ofori almost immediately after.

Sundowns then went ahead in the fifth minute after Thapelo Morena drove down the right and picked out Percy Tau, whose initial shot was saved sharply by the goalkeeper, with Themba Zwane on hand to finish.

The hosts slowly began to get into the game, although they found chances few and far between. Their best channel of attack was down the left through the hustling Mxolisi Kunene after he twice escaped his marker and delivered cross-goal passes that no one managed to get to.

But there was finally joy for the home fans as they drew level with their first shot on goal. It came courtesy of a huge error by Onyango after he completely missed his clearance from Siphesihle Ndlovu's optimistic long ball and Andrea Fileccia calmly finished into an open net.

Sundowns ended the half stronger, but it remained 1-1 at the break. It took until the hour for the next chance to arrive – Zwane ending a good attack for his side by shooting just over.

Billiat followed that up with an even worse effort as the Brazilians searched for the lead. Tau was the next player to come close when his low strike from distance forced Ofori to drop to his left and save low down.

There was finally a chance for United after 71 minutes. A lovely build-up resulting in Bandile Shandu squaring to the edge of the box where Ndlovu curled marginally over.

However, it was Sundowns who then retook the lead when a short, quick corner by Billiat caught out the home defence as an unmarked Tebogo Langerman lashed in left-footed from the left.

But there was still time for another goal and it crucially came the way of the hosts. Maboe picking up the ball way out on the left, caring the ball forward, playing a neat one-two with Pogiso Sanoka and finishing calmly to send the crowd in the ecstasy.

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