Aces boost survival hopes
Posted: 10 February 2010 Time: 21:45
Mpumalanga Black Aces, thanks to a second half goal from Mpho Maleka, gave their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Absa Premiership a major boost with a 1-0 win over Maritzburg United at the Puma Rugby Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The victory broke a six-game winless streak for AmaZayoni and moved them to within three points of the safety of 14th place, currently occupied by Free State Stars.
Aces’ Lindokuhle Mbatha had the first shot in anger, driving a 20 metre effort wide of goal in the fifth minute of the match.
Vusi Masondo was next to threaten for the hosts, with his free kick from the right of the penalty area being tipped over the crossbar by United goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters in the 21st minute.
On 31 minutes the Team of Choice had their first effort on target, though Kurt Leintjies’ shot from a free kick was easily held by Energy Murambadoro.
Early in the second half Maritzburg missed out on a great chance to take the lead, with defender Dikilu Bageta shooting wide from the penalty spot after Shere Lekgothoane had fouled Felix Obada in the box.
Aces made their visitors pay for the error, with Maleka getting on the end of Masondo’s free kick in the 52nd minute to put AmaZayoni into the lead.
United almost claimed an equaliser in the 88th minute but Murmabadoro was on hand to deny Fadlu Davids. The hosts held out for the remainder of the game to claim a potentially crucial victory.