Judas Mosemaedi scores twice as Maritzburg United stun Kaizer Chiefs
CAPE TOWN – Resurgent Maritzburg United moved off the bottom of the log with a well-taken 2-0 win over hosts Kaizer Chiefs in a DStv Premiership match at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.
It was Maritzburg's only second win of the season after they defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 last weekend. Coach Ernst Middendorp's charges will now overtake Chiefs on the latest standings and move into 12th place. Chiefs on the other hand will drop one place into 14th position.
The result marks a personal triumph for Middendorp who after guiding Chiefs to a runners-up slot in last year's Premiership was shown the exit door. He was replaced by Gavin Hunt, formerly of Bidvest Wits.
Chiefs have yet to score a win at home in this season's Premiership and are now one of only four teams who to have a solitary win to date.
Chiefs held the upper hand from the start and showed some promising signs in the opening 20 minutes during which striker Khama Billiat made several penetrative runs down the left flank. Maritzburg defence, however, prevented him from linking effectively with fellow striker Leonardo Castro.
🗣 Coach Ernst Middendorp— Maritzburg United FC (@MaritzburgUtd) January 9, 2021
“We had to adjust at half-time. More and more we felt comfortable. We have the players who can turn chances into goals. Compliments to the entire team, that was great fighting spirit.” #WeAreUnited pic.twitter.com/F1oS5HJjgs
Most of the first-half play was restricted to the middle areas of the field where Chiefs enjoyed a tight grip on proceedings but were unable to find their way past opposition defensive lines.
Towards the end of the half, Chiefs switched their attacking thrust to the right channels and the ploy produced a few goalmouths crosses which were mostly overcooked.
On the stroke of halftime, Chiefs midfielder Lazarous Kambole picked up the first yellow card in the match after he fouled Maritzburg striker Daylon Claasen who waged a counter-attack down the right flank.
Chiefs enjoyed a slight 53% possession advantage which counted for nothing by the time referee Eugene Mdluli brought a goalless first half to an end.
The early second-half play was fairly subdued and as the match approached the hour mark both teams made substitutions, the most noticeable of which was Serbian Samir Nurkovic coming on for Colombian Leonardo Castro in the Chiefs attack.
The introduction of fresh legs raised the tempo of the match with Maritzburg looking the more dominant side.
Maritzburg made their ascendency count as a goalmouth cross from the right allowed Judas Mosemaedi to produce a glancing header which drifted past Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi for the opening goal of the match in the 66th minute.
Chiefs waged a fightback which would have succeeded but midfielder Darrel Matsheke skied his scoring attempt after Maritzburg's central defence failed to deal with a goalmouth cross.
Ten minutes from the end, Maritzburg snatched their second goal after Mosemaedi scored from an acute angle after Chiefs failed to clear a lengthy throw-in (2-0).
Chiefs threatened in the closing stages, but their goal drought continued as three late efforts were wide of the target and Maritzburg managed their first clean sheet of the campaign.