Maritzburg outclass Santos

The first decent chance of the game went the way of the hosts, but Fanyana Dhladhla headed over the bear.

Santos were virtually non-existent in the first 45 as they struggled to get hold of the ball. When they did, Erwin Isaacs and Ryan Chapman were combining well, but they failed to create a clear chance.

Maritzburg came close to scoring in the 32nd minute, but Santos goalie Wayne Roberts was at hand to deny Dhladhla. The United midfielder let loose from just outside the 18-yard box, but Roberts produced a fantastic save, tipping the ball over the crossbar for a corner-kick.

Chapman came closest to scoring for the visitors three minutes from half-time after a nice pass from the right wing found him inside the box, 12 yards out from goal. He turned well to lose his marker, but his snap shot lacked any real power and the keeper held onto the shot comfortably.

The second half was all United, who dominated possession and applied constant pressure on the Santos goal. Eventually after a period of virtually camping in the visitors’ half, Maritzburg were rewarded for their efforts with a goal in the 69th minute.

The goal came thanks to some luck – Sipho Mngomezulu struck a shot from 30 yards out that took a deflection off the head of a Santos player, completely wrong-footing the keeper as the ball struck the back of the net.

Maritzburg could have doubled their lead a couple of times, but some poor finishing saw them squander opportunity after opportunity. Luckily enough they were not made to rue their missed chances as Santos couldn’t find any answer to a stubborn United defence.

The win for Gordon Igesund sees his side move up two places on the Absa Premiership and further away from relegation.