THOHOYANDOU – Bottom-of-the-table Maritzburg United showed they have life in them yet after battling to a 2-1 league win over Black Leopards at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Two quick-fire goals early in the second half – through Mohau Mokate and a Jean Munganga own goal, put United 2-0 ahead, before Mwape Musonda reduced the deficit in the 62nd minute. That, however, was to prove too little too late for the Limpopo side who remain just two points above the drop zone.
Maritzburg had showed good attacking intent in the early stages of the game, but having failed to create any real chances, Leopards began to threaten and visiting keeper Richard Ofori was called upon to make a couple of saves midway through the opening stanza.
The Pietermaritzburg outfit did, however, end the half well and could have been ahead in the 35th minute when Siphesihle Ndlovu was kept out at point blank range by King Ndlovu, who also made a save on a 20-yard effort from Allan Katerrega just before the interval.
As if sensing it was now or never, Maritzburg came out fired up after the break and took the lead in the 46th minute when Mokate beat Ndlovu after he had been played in by Fortune Makaringe.
And just six minutes later, the lead was doubled when after some more good work by Makaringe, Leopards defender Munganga ended up conceding an own goal.
The two goal advantage didn't last long, however, as the Premiership's top goal scorer Musonda pulled one back for Leopards just after the hour mark.
That made it a nervy last 30 minutes for Eric Tinkler's men, but they survived the attempted comeback by Lidoda Duvha to pick up what may still prove to be a season-defining three points.
The result leaves Maritzburg on 23 points, one point behind Chippa United, with both sides having two matches to play this season. Baroka FC are third last with 25 points, and they host AmaZulu on Sunday.
African News Agency (ANA)