Lakay's late strike hands Sundowns win against Maritzburg

Mamelodi Sundowns edged out Maritzburg United 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening.

The victory took the Brazilians to the second spot on the league standings, while the Team of Choice remained 15th on the log.

The two teams attacked each other from the start and both goalkeepers were seriously tested in the first 15 minutes of the match.

Kwanda Mngonyama's header was tipped over the crossbar by Sundowns keeper Denis Onyango, who then made a great save to deny Thabiso Kutumela.

At the other end, Maritzburg keeper Richard Ofori made a good save to deny Themba Zwane, who tried his luck with a snapshot from a tight angle.

Sundowns then took control of the match and Ofori found himself under pressure as Jose Ali Meza closed him down quickly, but the Sundowns attacker missed the target after the half-hour mark.

The deadlock was finally broken six minutes before halftime when Gaston Sirino cut inside before curling the ball past Ofori to make it 1-0 to Sundowns.

The score was 1-0 to Sundowns at the interval following an entertaining first-half.

The Team of Choice applied some pressure on the Brazilians’ defence after the restart and it paid off when Siyanda Xulu found the back of the net.

The former Sundowns central defender headed home at the far-post from Daniel Morgan's curling corner-kick to make it 1-1 in the 56th minute.

The defending league champions then pressed the visitors, with Hlompho Kekana pulling the strings from the middle of the back.

The Sundowns captain's excellent long ball sent Tebogo Langerman through on goal in the 68th minute, but Ghana international Ofori produced a fine save to deny the left-back.

The Brazilians launched attacks in search of a late winning goal, with coach Pitso Mosimane having introduced Phakamani Mahlambi and Lyle Lakay.

The pressure did pay off as Lakay proved to be a super-sub when he scored with a well-taken shot to seal Sundowns' 2-1 win over Maritzburg in stoppage time.

Sundowns (1) 2 (Sirino 39', Lakay 90'+1)

Maritzburg (0) 1 (Xulu 56')

Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Madisha, Lebusa, Langerman, Mabunda (Coetzee 58'), Kekana, Zwane, Sirino, Vilakazi (Mahlambi 62'), Meza (Lakay 83').

Maritzburg: Ofori, Xulu, Morgan (Kunene 81'), De Reuck, Mngonyama (Moseamedi 46'), Allie, Ntshangase, Claasen, Timm, Kutumela, Augusto (Nyoni 46').