Maritzburg sink Gallants with late strike


Maritzburg United climbed up to seventh spot on the DStv Premiership table with a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Marumo Gallants on Wednesday evening.

The Team of Choice recalled Daylon Claasen and Brandon Theron, with Bongokuhle Hlongwane suspended, while Gallants made only one change from their CAF Confederation Cup win over Futuro Kings as Letsie Koapeng was handed his debut.

The game was open in the opening exchanges, although both sides were let down by the final product and also not taking their chances on set-pieces.

Celimpilo Ngema came the closest to breaking the deadlock for Bahlabane Ba Ntwa eight minutes before the half-time break with a threatening strike from a tight angle that was saved by goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt.

Maritzburg made a double substitution straight from the half-time break, as Nazeer Allie replaced Richard Zumah while Leletu Skelem came on for Rowan Human while Gallants threw on Miguel Timm for Edgar Manaka.

Those changes made a huge difference in the opening exchanges of the second stanza, with the game flowing much better and Katlego Otladisa had a big chance to break the deadlock for the visitors four minutes before the hour-mark after going through on goal but his side-footed shot was saved by Engelhardt.

Sebastien Migne brought on Ivorian striker Junior Dion in place of Koapeng in an attacking change four minutes later and Dion had a glorious chance to break the deadlock for Bahlabane Ba Ntwa in the last 13 minutes after he took the ball away from Alfred Ndengane to go clear on goal but he dragged his low shot just wide with only Engelhardt to beat.

With the game was still there for the taking in the dying minutes, Amadou Soukouna snatched the winner for Ernst Middendorp's charges in stoppage time with a sensational strike from the edge of the box that found the top corner to leave Gallants winless in the league.

Confirmed line-ups:

Maritzburg: Engelhardt, Ismail, Ndengane, Rae, Theron, Ntshangase, Kewuti, Claasen, Human, Zumah, Soukouna.

Subs: Petersen, Allie, Zondi, L.Hlongwane, Skelem, Bhengu, Wyngaard.

Gallants: Arubi, Mvelase, Nikili, Ravhuhali, Nonyane, Otladisa, Dion, Manaka, Ndlondlo, Ngema, Mnyamane.

Subs: Ndlovu, Hlatshwayo, Kgoapeng, Khuba, Timm, Thangwane, Madhananga, Mabotja, Mphambaniso

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