Maritzburg frustrate Sundowns
Posted: 14 September 2016 Time: 19:22
Maritburg United managed to frustrate a second-string Mamelodi Sundowns side in a hard-fought Absa Premiership clash at a rainy Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night.
A congested fixture list in the next few weeks prompted Pitso Mosimane to make nine changes to his side, which still boasted plenty of quality as Thapelo Morena, Lucky Mohomi and Yannick Zakri all started.
The Brazilians started strongly and could have taken the lead as early as the second minute when Morena flew down the right flank and crossed for Samuel Julies, who was free at the far post, but his shot was blocked.
Zakri, who was playing as the furthest man forward, had another early chance moments later when a clever dummy by Sibusiso Vilakazi allowed him to run through on goal but Virgil Vries in the Team of Choice goal came out quickly to block.
Right on 30 minutes the home side had a penalty shout saved away when Deolin Mekoa went down in the penalty area under an apparent challenge by Themba Zwane, but referee Lwandile Mfiki felt there was no contact.
Down also had a strong penalty appeal waved away in the 63rd minute when Vilakazi was barged in the back by Dennis Weidlich. This time there was certainly contact but again nothing given, much to Pitso Mosimane’s frustration.
Sundowns’ best chance actually fell for Vilakazi in the 50th minute when he beat two static Maritzburg defenders to Samuel Julies’ long-ball over the top, but then failed to lob Vries even through the keeper was stranded well out of his area.
Maritzburg enjoyed a spell of pressure of their own early in the second half as Kurt Lenties dispossessed Banagly Soumahoro in midfield before missing a good chance unmarked in the box. Weidlich then hit the upright from the resultant corner as Ernest Middendorp’s side made a game of it.
Vries denied ‘Vila’ again in the 70th minute from point-blank range when he produced a brilliant diving save low down to his left, while several half-chances went abegging in the closing stages as the goalkeepers earned their keep. Philani Zulu was guilty of not passing when he should have in a late situation that could have won the game for Maritzburg.
HOME: Maritzburg United
Coach: Ernst Middendorp
AWAY: Mamelodi Sundowns
Coach: Pitso Mosimane