Maritzburg edge out Tshakhuma

Maritzburg United defeated Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila 2-1 in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) promotional/relegation playoffs match at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday afternoon.

The victory saw the Team of Choice end a successful playoffs campaign with four wins out of four matches, while National First Division (NFD) side Tshakhuma recorded their third defeat.

The Team of Choice got off to a lively start and they had a chance to score through Thabiso Kutumela three minutes into the game.

Fortune Makaringe set-up former Orlando Pirates striker Kutumela, whose volleyed attempt failed to find the back of the net.

The hosts deservedly opened the scoring in the 16th minute and their chief orchestrator, Makaringe, was involved.

The attacking midfielder's cross was tapped home by Mohau Mokate to make it 1-0 to Maritzburg with the Tshakhuma defence exposed.

Kutumela and Makaringe then combined again with the half-hour mark approaching, but the former missed the target.

Tshakhuma were able to contain Maritzburg and the score was 1-0 to the hosts at halftime.

Makaringe, who has been heavily linked with a possible move to Orlando Pirates, was replaced by Allan Kateregga at the beginning of the second half.

Tshakhuma pushed for the equalising goal, but they were struggling to penetrate the Maritzburg defence which was marshalled by Brian Mandela Onyango.

Thembisani Nevhulamba was introduced by Tshakhuma coach Moma Medic as the visitors looked to score their first goal.

However, the Team of Choice continued to attack and they scored through Mokate, who grabbed his brace with a good finish to make it 2-0 to Maritzburg in the 78th minute.

Tshakhuma were able to find the back of the back in the 88th minute through Nevhulamba, who beat Bongani Mpandle in Maritzburg goal to make it 2-1 with two minutes left.

However, the goal proved to be a consolation goal only as Maritzburg held on to their slender lead and emerged 2-1 winners over Tshakhuma.

Maritzburg (1) 2 (Mokate 16', 78')

Tshakhuma (0) 1 (Nevhulamba 88')

Maritzburg: Mpandle, Onyango, Farmer (Sanoka 55'), Ndlovu (Kunene 46'), De Reuck, Makaringe (Kateregga 46'), Timm, Kutumela, Mokate, Mekoa, Shandu.

Tshakhuma: Ramaela, Meso, Mokoena, Makgoka, Nyadombo, Ndlondlo, Makhubu (Msomi 75'), Mbandlwa, Khumalo (Chauke 69'), Bhengu (Nevhulamba 59'), Ononogb.