United sink Pirates

The Maritzburg goals were scored in the first half by Fadlu Davids and Mario Booysen while Andile Jali pulled one back for Pirates.

Pirates’ defence was simply woeful on the night and United took full use of that scoring twice from set-piece situations where players were left unmarked. Maritzburg’s pace up front was also too much for the Soweto giants to handle.

In the 19th minute Fadlu Davids almost grabbed the game’s opening goal with a glancing header from a corner-kick. Luckily for Pirates, Moeneeb Josephs was at his best to produce a finger tip save while at full stretch to touch the ball over the bar for a corner-kick.

The Pirates marking, or lack thereof, at the corner-kick was what caused the game’s first goal in the 25th minute when Davids headed Maritzburg United in front. Kurt Lentjies whipped in a good cross to find an unmarked Davids ten yards out and he made no mistake, grabbing his seventh league goal of the season, 1-0.

The Buccaneers defence simply went to sleep at the set-piece and when they did it again in the 31st minute they were once again made to pay the ultimate price. Again Lentjies whipped in an in-swinging free-kick from the left side of the filed and again a United player was left unmarked, this time Bester was the man.

Bester’s header, however, was superbly saved by Josephs who unfortunately palmed the ball into the path of Mario Booysen who made no mistake in firing the ball home from only a couple of yards out, 2-0.

The Team of Choice nearly scored their third goal six minutes later when Obada got behind the Pirates defence and only had Josephs to beat, but instead of picking a spot and delicately placing his shot, Obada decided to opt for power. Josephs was up to the challenge, punching the ball away from danger.

Thulasizwe Mbuyane did pull the best out of Maritzburg’s goalkeeper in the 64th minute when he unleashed a powerful shot from just outside the 18 yard box. Shu-Aib Walters, however, produced a fine save diving full stretch to his right to tip the effort around the post.

There was nothing Walters could do in the 72nd minute when Andile Jali pulled a goal back for the Buccaneers. Jali expertly finished a good passing move by Pirates, firing home from just inside the 18-yard box, 2-1.

This lead to an onslaught by the Buccaneers on the United goal, but despite their best efforts they could not find the equalising goal as the game ended 2-1.