Absa Premiership Report: Maritzburg United v Mamelodi Sundowns, 12 March 2019
Posted: 12 March 2019
Ten-man Mamelodi Sundowns moved three points clear at the top of the Absa Premiership table after sinking relegation threatened Maritzburg United 2-1 on Tuesday evening at Harry Gwala Stadium.
The Team of Choice made four changes from their narrow loss against Kaizer Chiefs as Rushine De Reuck, Mpho Matsi, Thabiso Kutumela and Allan Kateregga came to the fray while the Brazilians made only two alterations from their CAF Champions League outing with Rivaldo Coetzee and Emiliano Tade preferred to start.
Tade grabbed an early lead for Masandawana in the fifth minute, with clinical a strike from outside the box to the bottom corner after combining with Lebohang Maboe, 1-0.
Maboe doubled the lead for Pitso Mosimane’s charges in the 21st minute with a first-time finish from the centre of the box after Gaston Sirino, who beat the offside trap, played him a square ball from the left side of the box, 2-0.
Fortune Makaringe nearly pulled a goal back for United four minutes later with a header at close range that was parried away by Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango.
Yannick Zakri, who replaced De Reuck two minutes before the half-hour mark, should have reduced the deficit ten minutes before the break after going clear on the left side of box following a mistake by Thapelo Morena, but his low strike was saved by Onyango.
Themba Zwane almost scored Sundowns' third goal four minutes before the close of the first stanza after going through in the centre of the box, but he guided his strike wide.
Sundowns took the 2-0 lead to the break in a very fast paced first half.
Eric Tinkler made his second change ten minutes after the break, going on an all-out in attack as Deolin Mekoa came on for Matsi.
There was controversy in the 61st minute as Sirino received two quick yellow cards inside a minute, for time wasting and dissent and was sent off.
Mosimane then sacrificed Tade two minutes later and brought on Lyle Lakay to reinforce the defence.
Zwane had a glorious chance for the Brazilians with 15 minutes remaining after he was one-on-one with Maritzburg goalkeeper Richard Ofori, but he shot wide.
Makaringe pulled a goal back for United seven minutes before time with a close range finish at the back post after Onyango spilled a cross in a clouded area in the centre of the box, 1-2.
The Team of Choice were piling the pressure on Sundowns in the closing stages, who were hanging on for dear life but they could not find the winner and the visitors clinched the three points.
Sundowns now go three points clear at the top of the table with 43 points from 23 matches while Maritzburg remain rock bottom with 17 points from 24 games.
Article by: Staff Reporter
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