Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila beat Royal Eagles 2-1 on Saturday afternoon to keep their slim hopes of promotion alive, while the result also opens the door for Maritzburg United, who may be able to secure their Absa Premiership status for another season with a win on Wednesday.
TTM were yet to pick up a point in the promotion/relegation play-offs before kick-off and made several wholesale changes from their loss against the Team of Choice on Wednesday as they attempted to get their bid for promotion up and running.
Eagles, on the other hand, were looking to join Maritzburg on six points in the play-offs after their opening-day win at home against TTM.
It was the home side, though, that got off to the perfect start when Wonderboy Makhubu fired his side into the lead with just three minutes gone. The forward picked the ball up before going on a strong run down the left flank and then arrowing his shot into the bottom corner.
Just a minute later, Moma Medic’s men doubled their advantage as Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo picked up the ball from a horrible back pass, but using it profitably to smash his shot low into the bottom corner.
Eagles looked shell-shocked by the quick start and were struggling to get a foothold in the game. This forced coach Sazi Ngubane hand, as he made a tactical change on the half-hour mark to bring in Diego Brown for Tau.
The away side thought they had pulled one back just before the break, but Mashiane’s strike four minutes before the break was ruled offside.
2-0 at the break, but the away side were beginning to ask some serious questions.
Eagles came out fighting in the second half and were rewarded for their fast start just three minutes after the break when Mashiane’s glancing header following a cross from Lesvin Stoffels found the back of the net.
TTM then looked to be solid in defence and did not allow their opponents a way back into the game, which resulted in a tight period where chances were at a premium.
The home side almost secured the three points with 18 minutes to play as Nevhulamba let fly from distance, forcing goalkeeper Patrick Nyame into a top save.
The game became stretched in the closing moments as Eagles pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but TTM managed to hold on and clinch their first win of the play-offs.
Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix
You may also like