Maritzburg edge Polokwane City

Maritzburg United continued their solid early season form, edging Polokwane City 2-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium in the pair’s second Absa Premiership fixture of the 2014/15 season.

United took the lead through Mohau Mokate, before a spectacular free-kick from Puleng Tlolane pulled the teams level shortly before halftime.

But up stepped on-loan defender Kwanda Mngonyama, who buried a corner to steal three vital points for the Team of Choice.

The win comes on the back of a 1-1 draw in their first game of the season, holding defending league champions Mamelodi Sundowns to a 1-1 stalemate in Pretoria.

Maritzburg were put on the back foot from the start as early chances fell for Rendani Ndou, who came on from the bench with the game barely underway, as well as Puleng Tlolane.

Maritzburg goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters was being put under immense pressure and denied a host of Polokwane’s early chances.

But the home side managed to soak up the pressure and took the lead against the run of play when Mokate netted home, following some brilliant work from Kurt Lentjies and Thami Mkhize in the build-up.

United’s celebrations were cut short however, as Tlolane’s thunderous free-kick from 20 yards out silenced the home fans and drew Polokwane level 10 minutes from the halftime interval.

Heavy drama followed shortly after the break as both teams were reduced to 10 men, as United’s goal-scorer, Mokate, and Polokwane’s Elias Ngwepe were both dismissed with straight red-cards.

The Team of Choice were unfazed and went back ahead, courtesy of on-loan defender Mngonyama, who sent the ball over the line from an inswinging corner on the hour mark.

United continued to attack with vigour and had a chance fall to Ashley Hartog, who saw his excellent effort deflected wide at the last minute.

A well-organised defensive effort saw United slow the play down as they looked to run down the clock, while Polokwane tried in vain to make inroads.

Maritzburg United (1) 2 (Mokate 28’, Mngonyama 61’)

Polokwane City (1) 1 (Tlolane 35’)

Teams:

Maritzburg United: Walters, De Jongh (Nkosi 55’), Mngonyama, Awal, Matuka, Mkhize, Lentjies (Cele 55’), Hartog, Mabaso, Mokate, Mekoa

Polokwane City: Visser, Molekwane, Ngwepe, Mngqibisa, Tshilo, Mhlongo, Genbuna (Ndou 10’), Cole, Nzimande (Kanyenda 63’), Gopane (Maluleke 58’), Tlolane