Maritzburg third after win over Polokwane

Maritzburg United climbed up to third pace on the Absa Premiership table after a 2-1 win over Polokwane City at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.

The win sees the KZN side up to 38 points and jump above Free State Stars. Ea Lla Koto, though (who are on 37 points and have played a game less) are in action on Saturday against Chippa United.

Still, Maritzburg will take heart from the fact that they are only five points behind league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and one point behind second placed Orlando Pirates.

The home side got off to the perfect start and took the lead seven minutes into the game after Pogiso Sanoka poked the ball home from close range following a goalmouth scramble at a corner-kic, 1-0.

Andrea Fileccia should have doubled Maritzburg’s lead five minutes later when he was played through on goal, but he was superbly denied by the Polokwane keeper George Chigova in a one-on-one situation.

Chigova was at his best once again in the 20th minute when Mohau Mokate was played in behind the Polokwane defence, but the keeper was on hand to make a fantastic close-range stop.

In the 26th minute Maritzburg suffered a bit of a set-back when Brian Onyango had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Rushine De Reuck.

Polokwane’s only decent chance of the half came in the 31st minute when Walter Musona curled a 24-yard free-kick inches wide of the post.

Neither side could add to the goal tally before the half time break.

It was a slow start to the second half with the first decent effort of the stanza coming in the 58th minute when Mekoa saw a long range effort cleared off the Polokwane goalline by Thabiso Semenya.

Ten minutes later Mekoa was afforded another scoring opportunity when Fileccia slipped him through on goal with a pin-point pass, but the former fired across the face of goal from 14-yards out.

In the 75th minute Maritzburg did doubled their lead when a long ball from the back by Richard Ofori saw Siphesihle Ndlovu in behind the defence and he made no mistake with just the keeper to beat, 2-0.

Polokwane tried to find their way back into the game after that and did manage to find a consolation goal in the 87th minute courtesy of Muhammad Sulumba, but it was too little too late as the game ended 2-1.

that, but were unable to find any consolation as they suffered their seventh defeat of the season.

The loss sees Polokwane remain in 11th place on the league table, but in real danger of falling into the relegation battle – currently Rise and Shine are only three points above the relegation zone.

Maritzburg (1) 2 (Sanoka 7’, Ndlovu 75’)
Polokwane (0) 1 (Sulumba 87’)

Maritzburg: Ofori, Onyango (De Reuck 26’), Xulu, Sanoka , Makaringe, Maboe, Ndlovu, Shandu, Mekoa, Fillecia (Kunene 70’), Mokate (Twala 90’)

Polokwane: Chigova, Semenya, Hlongwane, Tshilo, Manaka, Seabi, Ramagalela, Phiri, Sulumba (Chungwa 89’), Musona (Miya 82’), Tlolane (Mngomezulu 76’).