Maritzburg beat SuperSport to keep survival hopes alive

Bandile Shandu of Maritzburg Utd on attack during the Absa Premiership match between Maritzburg United and SuperSport United at Harry Gwala Stadium on May 04, 2019 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Bandile Shandu of Maritzburg Utd on attack during the Absa Premiership match between Maritzburg United and SuperSport United at Harry Gwala Stadium on May 04, 2019 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Hard to kill Maritzburg United showed they will fight to the last game to stay in the Absa Premiership as they kept in touch with fellow relegation stragglers Chippa United, Free State Stars and Black Leopards by beating SuperSport United 3-1 at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Although Maritzburg remain in the intensive care unit with one game left, this victory will offer hope to coach Eric Tinkler's and his side that they can survive relegation.

Maritzburg remained in last place on 26 points. Second-last Black Leopards (27 points) have a game in hand, but against second-placed Mamelodi Sudowns in Thohoyandou on Tuesday.

Third-last Free State Stars (27 points) have been in freefall, and could only manage a point from a 1-1 draw against Kaizer Chiefs at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

Chippa United moved from the second-last-placed playoff position to 13th place with a 3-1 win away against Polokwane City, but remain every bit in danger, also on 27 points.

Twelfth-placed Baroka FC's 3-1 defeat in Johannesburg also left them in a threatened position on 28 points.

It was a perfect for Maritzburg’s as Mohau Mokate opened the scoring with just four minutes on the clock as he was played in by Fortune Makaringe.

Coach Kaitano Tembo’s troops were awful in the first half with over-elaborate movements, short, pointless passes while United showed them how to do it with quick transition and good use of the flanks, especially the left where Makaringe again impressed.

Andrea Fileccia was also good out wide for a determined Maritzburg, as a wayward shot from Krahire Zakri and a similar effort from Keletso Makgalwa threatened SuperSport.

In the 30th minute Mokate set up Zakri, who fired over from close range after an error from goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

SuperSport, nowhere to be found in the first half, took advantage of careless defending by Maritzburg allowing Aubrey Modiba to level matters on the 47th minute.

The hosts were left vulnerable at the back when they pushed forward allowing Modiba more chances to score.

The Team of Choice kept on pushing forward and Judas Moseamedi put them ahead again in the 73rd, then scored another the dying minutes in 90th.

The unbelievable support to the home team from the people of Pietermaritzburg and the surrounding areas has been a major factor for them in their bitter fight for survival, and was again on Saturday.

It is certainly been a rollercoaster of a ride for Maritzburg in recent years, after escaping relegation by the finest of margins three seasons ago, then finshing a highest-ever fourth last campaign.

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