Highlands clinch a point at Maritzburg

It was the return to the field for Tendai Ndoro who made his debut for the visitors after a drama-filled couple of months for him off the field of play.

It was a slow start from both sides, with very little separating themselves in the way of clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities.

On 21 minutes, Ndoro opened up space inside the box but shot straight to Richard Ofori for the first opening chance.

Minutes later, Maritzburg pounced when Yannick Zakri’s late run led him to nod home Fortune Makaringe’s pin-point cross.

With the lead intact, the Team of Choice stood firm and kept a good defensive shape to head to the break in control.

As for Highlands, a few crosses from out wide failed to pick out any of their intended targets with the strong defence on the opposing side keeping them at bay.

The second half started in blistering fashion, with Lindokuhle Mbatha landing to a loose ball to shot from inside the box for equaliser with the help of a deflection.

In just a few minutes later, Mohau Mokate stole space inside the box to head home a corner to regain the lead for the home team.

A coming together between Ofori and his defence nearly led Highlands to draw another goal but the danger was quickly averted with a half-hearted clearance for a corner by Pogiso Sanoka.

Owen Da Gama’s first substitution took place on 62 minutes with Elliot Seema coming on for debutant Mahlatse Makhudubela.

The Blue and White brigade was fortunate not to have a man send off after an over-the-top challenge from Siphesihle Ndlovu went unpunished by the officiating team.

The Tembisa side were level when Mothobi Mvala used his aerial advantage to outjump the defence and head a cross from the right into the bottom corner after 69 minutes.

Defender Bandile Shandu’s attempts to restore the lead on the other side was stopped with a good save from Tapuwa Kapini after a few minutes.

Highlands were handed chances to take all three points when substitute Moeketsi Sekola failed to punish poor defending after missing a one-on-one opportunity.

A minute later, the same individual was through on goal again with the goal at his mercy in an identical scenario but once again failed to take advantage.

In added time, Maritzburg nearly stole the win but a good defensive clearance ensured the ball out to safety leaving them with a share of the spoils in a game the hosts should’ve wrapped up.