Cape Town - Maritzburg United claimed a 3-2 win
over Chippa United in a thrilling Absa Premiership clash at the Nelson Mandela
Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
Maritzburg started brightly,
creating an early chance for Mlondi Dlamini which was spurned, but on nine
minutes they claimed the lead: Kurt Lentjies’ corner kick was headed home by
Mohau Mokate to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
Chippa took their time to get a
foothold in the game, but they gradually gained the ascendancy in midfield and
began to create chances, the best of which saw Lerato Manzini head wide of the
target midway through the half.
The Chilli Boys were close to
levelling the game five minutes before the interval, with Thamsanqa Sangweni
forcing a save out of Virgil Vries with a shot direct from a free kick.
The hosts continued to press for an
equaliser in the second half, but 20 minutes in they found themselves 2-0 down
when Kurt Lentjies converted from a spot kick - the penalty was earned by
substitute Andrea Fileccia.
Chippa thought they had a lifeline
three minutes later when Lerato Manzini put the ball in the back of the net,
having kicked it out of the hands of goalkeeper Vries. However, the goal was
disallowed by the referee.
On 77 minutes Chippa did pull a goal
back through substitute Phetelo Sekome, but United’s two-goal cushion was
quickly restored by Fileccia, who took advantage of some slack defending by the
hosts to net himself and make it 3-1.
Yet the drama was far from finished,
with Sekome scoring a second in the 82nd minute to reduce the
deficit to 3-2 and set up a tense finale. Chippa threw everything they had at
their visitors in the dying minutes, but the Team of Choice held firm to claim
the full haul of points.