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Harry Gwala
13/02/2016 20:15
Referee: Phillip Tinyani

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Absa Premiership Maritzburg United vs Platinum Stars

Posted: 13 February 2016 Time: 21:01

Evans Rusike cancelled out Robert Ng'ambi's opener to help Maritzburg United against Platinum Stars at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

Robert Ng’ambi had put Dikwena on course for three points, but the Team of Choice fought back to claim a share of the spoils – though they remain without a home win in the league this season.

The first half was a cagey affair, with neither side really able to create clear scoring chances.

Stars were the first to threaten, with Eleazar Rodgers heading over from a corner kick, while Masibusane Zongo excited the crowd with his skills and trickery.

For Maritzburg, Philani Zulu showed some promies in attack but the hosts failed to prove any bother for Dikwena’s ‘keeper Mbongeni Mzimela.

The first half finished goalless and was characterised by niggly fouls, with both teams struggling to keep possession and build any rhythm to their play.

The opening minutes of the second half saw a big improvement from the home side, with the introduction of debutant Ryan Moon providing a spark which saw them lift their game.

The 19-year-old forced Stars’ Mzimela into a sharp save with a snap shot from the edge of the box on 53 minutes.

Shortly thereafter Mzimela made a fantastic double save to keep out close-range efforts from Evans Rusike and Moon, though both United attackers will feel they should have done better and given the goalkeeper no chance.

However, after weathering that storm from the home side, Stars took control of the game and broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute.

Siyabonga Zulu was the architect, providing a fine pull-back from the left flank which allowed Robert Ng’ambi to arrive late in the danger area to fire home a right-footed shot.

United almost came up with a quick reply through Deolin Mekoa, who hit a powerful half-volley at the Stars goal but watched in disbelief as it went just wide of the target.

Mzimela was helpless to prevent an equaliser in the 81st minute, when Kurt Lentjies provided a cross to find Rusike, who directed the ball into the back of the net with a beautifully executed header.

United had momentum behind them for the final minutes of the game and pushed hard to claim a winner, but the visitors were able to hold out and ensure the match finished in a stalemate.

Stars also finished the game with 10 men following a red card for substitute Ndumiso Mabena in injury time.

The result sees United remain bottom of the log with nine points from 18 games, while Cavin Johnson's side remain in fifth place with 31 points from 18 games.

Article by: KICK OFF

HOME: Maritzburg United

Coach: Ernst Middendorp
Formation: 4-3-1-2

AWAY: Platinum Stars

Coach: Cavin Johnson
Formation: 4-3-3

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