Maritzburg United Golden Arrows Absa Premiership PSL report
Posted: 28 October 2016 Time: 18:36
A gutsy ten-man Maritzburg United showed plenty of fight to come back from two goals down against Golden Arrows in a game that ended 2-2 at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
Arrows found themselves two goals up heading towards the break courtesy of Kagisho Dikgacoi and Musa Bilankulu but Maritzburg pulled one back through Evans Rusike to slightly change the complexion of the coach's half-time teamtalk.
In the second stanza the hosts were reduced to ten-men but showed admirable fight in drawing level through Kurt Lentjies despite a numercial disadvantage.
Maritzburg started the brighter of the two sides and Brian Onyango inexplicably headed wide from Kurt Lentjies peach of a cross before dangerous youngster Ntshangase shot over from range.
In the 10th minute Mbaeva was called into action by Rusike who picked up Lebo Maboe's neat ball and forced a smart save from the goalkeeper.
The Team of Choice were firmly in charge so it came as somewhat of a surprise when they found themselves behind with a former Arrows star reintroducing himself to the Absa Premiership.
Dikgacoi, playing his first game since returning to the club, was the man to break the dealock and he did so in style with a composed first time finish from just inside the area.
Maritzburg seemed to have hit back immediately but with the ball in the back of the net the goal did not stand much to the dismay of embattled coach Ernst Middendorp although the official appeared to have made the right call with the ball straying out in the lead-up.
Miheso let fly from quite some distane out and it proved a real test for Virgil Vries who, up until that point, had done little other than pick the ball out from the back of his net.
Vries made another great stop before the half hour mark as he came promptly off his line to deny Ntanga who was rushing clean through on goal.
All the 'keeper's good work was undone in the 37th minute after a terrible mix-up between he and Bevan Fransman allowed Bilankulu the simplest of goals.
Just before the break the home side netted an invaluable goal to cut the deficit in half as Rusike cut inside and launched a scorcher into the back of the net from outside the area.
As was the case at the very beginning of the first half Onyango had an opportunity to score via a header but was again unable to get his effort on target.
Chances kept coming for the home side as substitute Devon Saal was slipped through after intricate build-up and forced Mbaeva to divert his shot around the upright.
Despite all their postive play Middendorp's men could not convert and things took a turn for the worse in the 59th minute as Onyango was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
With a man advantage Arrows began to look comfortable and Miheso let fly from range with the upright coming to the aid of the Team of Choice.
However, the ten men of Maritzburg continued to look for an equaliser and found one as captain Lentjies pounced in the area to turn the ball past Mbaeva from close range.
A win would have taken Arrows three points clear at the top but failure to secure maximum points means they are only a solitary point ahead of Kaizer Chiefs who are in action tomorrow against Orlando Pirates.
HOME: Maritzburg United
Coach: Ernst Middendorp
AWAY: Golden Arrows
Coach: Clinton Larsen