Team of Choice too strong for Baroka

Maritzburg United continued their fine Absa Premiership season as they defeated hosts Baroka FC 2-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.

The Team of Choice strengthened their grip on third place thanks to goals from Bandile Shandu and Siphesihle Ndlovu, while Bakgaga stay just outside the top half as they remain in ninth.

Baroka started the game brightly, but it was United who claimed an early lead. Bandile Shandu beat goalkeeper Ayanda Dlamini with a dipping long-range drive in the eight minute to put the visitors 1-0 up.

The Limpopo side should have drawn level in the 18th minute, with a great free kick delivery from Mpho Kgaswane picking out Letladi Madubanya, but the Baroka captain put a diving header wide of the far post.

Three minutes later Maritzburg had a very similar chance at the other end of the field, with Deolin Mekoa’s free kick finding an unmarked Pogiso Sanoka, but he was denied by a fine reaction save from Dlamini.

The Bakgaga gloves-man was beaten for a second time early in the second half, with the excellent Siphesihle Ndlovu curling home another long-range shot in the 47th minute to make it 2-0 to the Team of Choice.

Baroka created a couple of good chances in response to United’s second goal, but Mathari Mothupa headed wide on 55 minutes before Talent Chawapiwa sent an effort over the target as the game neared the hour mark.

Maritzburg’s Mekoa thought he had made it 3-0 when he executed a fine finish in the 63rd minute, but he was controversially flagged offside, while a few minutes later at the other end Richard Ofori was finally called into significant action as he palmed away an acrobatic effort from Gift Motupa.

A third goal remained elusive for the KwaZulu-Natal club, with Lebohang Maboe seeing his 78th minute effort saved by Dlamini before rebounding off the post, but a 2-0 win is more than welcome for Maritzburg.

Baroka FC 0

Maritzburg United (1) 2 (Shandu 8’, Ndlovu 47’)

Baroka: Dlamini, Mothupa, Mabotja, Madubanya, Kgoetyane, Chawapiwa (Ngalande 66’), Banda, Sidumo (Nguzana 51’), Kgaswane, Motupa (Sodi 75’), Mdantsane

Maritzburg: Ofori, de Reuck, Fransman, Xulu, Sanoka, Makaringe, Ndlovu (Thlone 87’), Shandu, Maboe, Mekoa (Kunene 64’), Fileccia (Mokate 72’)