Maritzburg down TTM to increase lead in playoffs

Maritzburg United were the better team from start to finish in a 2-0 Absa Premiership/ National First Division promotion-relegation playoff win over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at Thohoyandou Stadium in Venda on Wednesday afternoon.

Victory moves the Team of Choice up to six points in the mini-league and favourites to book their place among the 16 teams in South Africa's top-flight for the 2019/20 season.

Judas Moseamedi and Bongokuhle Hlongwane found the back of the net for the visitors, who built on the win they achieved over Black Leopards on the same ground just a few weeks ago.

Maritzburg made their intentions clear from the onset and should've opened the scoring in the 24th minute following good work by Siphesihle Ndlovu, but Mohau Mokate failed to convert with the goal at his mercy.

TTM almost hit the front against the run of play seven minutes later following a mistake by Ricard Ofori who took a heavy touch from a back pass, but Lehlohonolo Nhlapo couldn't capitalise.

The second half got off to a rather lethargic start with both teams reluctant to commit bodies forward following the break, resulting in limited chances at either end of the pitch.

Eric Tinkler introduced Moseamedi off the bench just short of the hour mark and the towering forward provided the desired impact with 67 minutes on the clock, nodding home a Deolin Mekoa cross.

Hlongwane made sure of the result in the 82nd minute, beating the offside trap before firing a low shot past the TTM goalkeeper to clinch all three points for the visitors.

TTM will play host to Royal Eagles at the same venue on Saturday in what is now a must-win game for the Limpopo club.

TTM (0) 0

Maritzburg United (0) 2 (Moseamedi 67' Hlongwane 82')

TTM: Mamudzdi; Mashau (Makhubu 80'), Nyadombo, Makgoga, Mabotja, Mgaga, Khumalo, Nkoana, Nhlapo (Jembula 62'), Manqele (Nevhulamba 80'), Bhengu.

Maritzburg United: Ofori; Shandu, Allie, De Reuck, Xulu (Onyango 34'), Hlongwane (Matsi 84'), Timm, Makaringe, Mekoa, Ndlovu, Mokate (Moseamedi 56').