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Harry Gwala
07/11/2010 15:00

Maritzburg dump Sundowns out of Cup

Posted: 7 November 2010 Time: 17:06

Mamelodi Sundowns were unceremoniously dumped out of the Telkom Knockout Cup by Maritzburg United on Sunday.

Maritzburg won the Telkom Knockout quarter-final 2-0, with a Rudolf Bester penalty on 15 minutes, and a Fabian McCarthy header on 59 minutes.

Sundowns passed the ball around in the first half, but despite their early domination they were unable to find any openings in the Maritzburg United defence.

And despite their lack of possession, it was United who took the lead in the 15th minute, when Vuyo Mere blatantly handled the ball inside the penalty area. The referee did not hesitate in pointing to the spot and showing Mere a yellow card, but he should have been shown a straight red.

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Rudolf Bester stepped up for the Team of Choice and calmly slotted the ball home, sending the keeper the wrong way and handing his side the lead, 1-0.

Sundowns continued to control the game, but were unable to create any clear-cut chances, as their passing in the final third let them down.

Antonio Lopez-Habas made a dramatic substitution when he replaced Mere with Lebohang Mokoena in the 34th minute, but still the Brazilians were unable to open up the United defence.

It was United who finished the half the stronger as Bester again tested Brian Baloyi from long range in the 43rd minute, although the Sundowns keeper made a comfortable save.

Maritzburg looked more comfortable in the second half, and created some decent chances on goal themselves.

In the 59th minute they made their time on the ball count as McCarthy doubled their lead. Bevan Fransch chipped in an inviting free-kick from the right flank and the former Kaizer Chief’s defender rose highest to powerfully head his side’s second goal, 2-0.

Sundowns quickly introduced another offensive player in the form of Surprise Moriri, and he made an immediate impact almost pulling a goal back for his side in the 72nd minute.

After a slick passing movement, Moriri found himself with some space just inside the 18-yard area and let off a powerful shot, but Shu-Aib Walters was on hand to make a good save low and to his left.

Sundowns continued the pressure in the closing minutes of the match, but Maritzburg were able to hold onto their two goal lead and move into the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout Cup.

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