Malajila gives Maritzburg dramatic win

A late Cuthbert Malajila strike gave Maritzburg United a thrilling 3-2 win over Orlando Pirates in the final Absa Premiership match of the 2012/13 season.

Tlou Segolela had opened the scoring before Heinrich Isaacks equalised and Khetho Masuku put Bucs back into the lead. Then Ryan De Jongh equalised before Malajila pounced for the winner.

With Orlando Pirates playing with the ambition of finishing second on the table behind Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United in the hope of making the Top 8, the match started slowly with both teams cautious in their approach.

Just fourteen minutes in, Bucs were forced to make a change when Thandani Ntshumayelo got injured. He was replaced by Manti Moholo.

But it took just 18 minutes for the game’s opening goal when Tlou Segolela, who was just this week recalled into the Bafana Bafana squad, headed home a Happy Jele cross.

Then Pirates came close again when Khetho Masuku fired in a shot, but straight at Shuaib Walters.

A few minutes later Orlando Smeekes got in a shot on the other end, but Senzo Meyiwa made the save. A few moments later, a Dillon Sheppard set piece found the head of Delron Buckley, but Meyiwa again made the save.

In the 37th minute Walters was called in to make another save when Bucs’ Nigerian midfielder Onyekachi Okonkwo fired in a shot.

After the break, Ernst Middendorp made his first change when he replaced Orlando Smeekes with Terence Mandaza. He also took David Booysen off for Heinrich Isaacks.

Four minutes into the second half, Bucs substitute Ndumiso Mabena got in the first scoring chance of the half, but his attempt was too close to Walters in goal.

Pirates should have found a second goal when Happy Jele got into a good position, but could not make the most of his opportunity.

Then substitute Isaacks pounced on the 58th minute to fire in an equaliser for Maritzburg.

But just two minutes later the home side were back in front. Segolela found Masuku in a good position inside the danger area and all he had to do was place his shot past Walters.

Inside the final twenty minutes of the match, Mabena came close with an effort before Philani Zulu put an attempt wide on the other end as both teams pushed hard in the final minutes.

Ryan De Jongh equalised for the visitors with four minutes to go after his shot from inside the area beat Senzo Meiwa in goal.

Happy Jele came close in the dying moment for Pirates, but could not direct his shot on target.

Malajila did, however, find the back of the net in referee’s optional time after an assist by Delron Buckley.

Orlando Pirates (1) 2 (Segolela 17’ Masuku 60’)

Maritzburg United (0) 3 (Isaacks 58’ De Jongh 86’ Malajila 90’)

Pirates: Meyiwa, Jele, Phungwayo, Mahamutsa, Gcaba, Okonkwo, Ntshumayelo (Moholo 14’), Manyisa, Segolela (Myeni 78’), Masuku, Mbesuma (Mabena 41’)

Maritzburg: Walters, Petersen, Awal, Booysen M, Cloete, Booysen D (Isaacks 46’), De Jongh, Sheppard (Zulu 65’), Smeekes (Mandaza 46’), Buckley, Malajila