Team of Choice victorious
Posted: 28 January 2009 Time: 17:45
A brace from Fadlu Davids and a fine strike by Tony Tsabedze handed Maritzburg United an important 3-1 victory over fellow Absa Premiership strugglers Bloemfontein Celtic at the Woodburn Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
In an action-packed game that saw two red cards and four goals, it was the Team of Choice who rode their luck to secure the three points that moves them up, temporarily at least, to 14th place and out of the danger zone. Celtic, in contrast, remain bottom of the log after their ninth defeat in 18 games.
United got off to the perfect start when Davids steered home a shot from just six yards out in the second minute, handing the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Gert Schalkwyk, who scored a hat-trick on debut against Thanda Royal Zulu at the weekend, tried to bring his team level with a long range effort in the fourth minute but the ball flew wide of Tashrique Goldman's goal.
On 11 minutes Maritzbug's Brice Aka had the chance to double his side's lead from a close range header, but the striker put his effort over the crossbar.
In the 20th minute Celtic were dealt a major blow, as midfielder Solomon Mathe was dismissed for a professional foul in the 18-yard area that saw United awarded a penalty. Davids scored from the spot kick to make it 2-0 and seemingly secure the points for his team.
On the half hour mark Peter Petersen set Fanyana Dhladhla up with a good scoring chance, but goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters made a terrific save to keep out the winger's shot.
Davids could have completed his hat-trick in the 39th when he met Tony Tsabedze's cross, but he couldn't quite direct his header on target. Instead, six minutes later, the striker handed the visitors a lifeline when picked up two quick yellow cards and was sent off just before half time.
Celtic came out after the interval with positive intent and both Wellington Sambu and Lebo Ramolesa forced Goldman into making good saves at the start of the second half.
The 'keeper was again called into action in the 53rd minute, palming away Petrus Mahlatsi's shot, and then he watched as Moses Spandeel cracked a powerful drive just wide of his upright a few moments later.
On 55 minutes Ramolesa headed wide of goal, as Celtic continued to create some good scoring chances. However, with just over 20 minutes to play, Tsabedze added the third goal for United, shooting past Walters after some good set up play Sipho Mngmezulu.
But Phunya Sele Sele refused to give in, and they duly pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute when Mahlatsi met John Maduka's cross and steered the ball into the back of United's net.
There were further scoring chances for both sides in the remaining minutes, but neither was able to add to their tally, leaving the final score 3-1 in favour of the hosts.
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