Lebohang Maboe netted a late goal as Maritzburg United held Mamelodi Sundowns to a 2-2 draw in their Absa Premiership encounter on Wednesday night, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
The visitors made their attacking intent visible from the first whistle and were in firm control of the clash.
Masadawana broke the deadlock in the fifth minute when Thapelo Morena’s surging run down the right flank found Percy Tau in the area, with his goalbound effort being deflected in the way of Themba Zwane, who made no mistake from inside the area.
The Team of Choice continued to play their enterprising two-touch football, and made inroads in a bid to equalise.
Fadlu Davids’ side came close to equalising in the 18th minute through a swift counterattacking move, but Wayne Arendse did well to clear his side’s lines.
The home side levelled matters in the 32nd minute when goalkeeper Denis Onyango made a shocking howler to allow Andréa Fileccia the easiest of tap-ins.
Unable to find another goal in the first half, the two sides went into the half-time break deadlocked at 1-1.
Maritzburg emerged as the stronger team in the second half, putting Sundowns on the back foot with Fortune Makaringe and Siphesihle Ndlovu pulling strings in the midfield.
Sundowns were forced into making a change when defender Arendse pulled up with cramp and was subsequently replaced by Motjeka Madisha.
Maritzburg made their first change of the game in the 66th minute when Sheldon van Wyk replaced the goalscorer Fileccia.
Defender Tebogo Langerman restored Sundowns’ lead in the 73rd minute when he latched on to Khama Billiat’s corner before smashing home a fine effort.
Masandawana looked to utilise their experience to see off the encounter in the remaining minutes of the clash, however, Maritzburg had other ideas and equalised courtesy of a strike by Maboe, which brought the Harry Gwala Stadium to their feet.
In the end, the two sides played to a 2-2 draw, ensuring that Sundowns’ lead at the top of the PSL table is cut to four points over second-placed Orlando Pirates with two games left to be played in the campaign.
Maritzburg XI: 31. Ofori, 16. Fransman, 32. Sanoka, 6. Thlone, 25. Xulu, 26. Shandu, 13. Makaringe, 8. Ndlovu, 15. Maboe, 36. Kunene, 9. Fileccia.
Sundowns XI: 14. Onyango, 4. Langerman, 27. Morena, 6. Arendse, 16. Nascimento, 13. Mabunda, 33. Billiat, 7. Manyisa, 8. Kekana, 18. Zwane, 22. Tau.
Photo: Gallo Images
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