Absa Premiership

Team of Choice up to third after Polokwane win

2018-03-16 22:24
Mxolisi Kunene (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Maritzburg United continued their impressive season by climbing to third on the Absa Premiership table thanks to a 2-0 win over Polokwane City at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday.

As it happened: Martizburg United v Polokwane City

The Team of Choice have shown excellent form in Pietermaritzburg in recent games and they set the tone after only seven minutes when Pogiso Sanoka pounced on a loose ball to blast in.

After chances at both ends, substitute Mxolisi Kunene added a 75th minute second when a long ball was not dealt with.

Despite Muhammad Sulumba scoring a consolation two minutes from time, Fadlu Davids' team held on.

The visitor should have taken the lead inside the opening minute when Sulumba capitalised on some sloppy defending by Sanoka, but his squared cross to the middle was inexplicably blazed over by Puleng Tlolane.

The hosts responded with a few energetic forays forward of their own - the best of which was a Deolin Mekoa corner that was headed powerfully over by Siyanda Xulu.

Sanoka then made amends for his early sloppiness when he was quickest to pounce after another Mekoa corner, flicked on by Mohau Mokate, that caused mayhem in the Polokwane box, with the Team of Choice defender on hand to blast in.

Moments later Fortune Makaringe threaded a fine ball through to Andrea Fileccia on the right, but the Belgian’s shot was blocked by goalkeeper George Chigova.

Mekoa then curled agonisingly wide as the rain began to pour.

United suffered a blow when Brian Onyango was stretchered off due to injury and it opened the door for City as Tlolane, Rodney Ramagalela and Walter Musona all came close - the latter lifting over just before the break.

After the restart, Mokate fired straight at Chigova, while Ramagalela did the same at the other end when he drove powerfully from the angle straight at Richard Ofori.

Mekoa should have had a penalty before the hour, but referee Eketsang Setloboko penalized him for diving.

Xulu again wasted a free header on the hour, before Musona forced Ofori into his sharpest save of the game from a poked effort on the left.

At the other end, Mekoa continued to be a nuisance and woefully shot wide after he was sent through by an exquisite Andrea Fileccia ball.

The killer goal finally arrived with 15 minutes to play as a Ofori's long ball was not dealt with by Thabiso Semenya and replacement Kunene kept his composure to finish.

Sulumba did manage a late consolation when Ofori’s attempted clearance bounced off him and went in, but it came too late for the home side who held on.

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Sunday, 22 April 2018
Wits v Polokwane City, Bidvest Stadium 15:00
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Ajax Cape Town v Baroka FC, Athlone Stadium 19:30
Bloemfontein Celtic v Chippa United, Dr Molemela Stadium 19:30
Golden Arrows v Kaizer Chiefs, Princess Magogo Stadium 19:30
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Maritzburg United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
SuperSport United v Free State Stars, Lucas Moripe Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v Cape Town City FC, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Wits, Orlando Stadium 19:30
Platinum Stars v AmaZulu FC, Royal Bafokeng Stadium 19:30
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