PORT ELIZABETH – Maritzburg United came from behind to record a valuable 3-2 win over Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Dan Malesela’s team are now just a couple of points above the drop zone after what was their 10th Premiership match without victory.
They are, however, set to play SuperSport in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals.
Maritzburg came out with purpose in Port Elizabeth and showed their intentions early on when Mondli Dlamini came within inches of converting Bandile Shandu’s cross with just a minute on the clock.
They were to take the lead after just seven minutes when Mohau Mokate headed in from captain Kurt Lentjies’ corner kick.
Mokate had another chance when he was again teed up by Lentjies, but he was unable to get his shot away under pressure.
Chippa were to enjoy good periods of play as they went in search of an equaliser.
But apart from an effort by Tshwarelo Bereng that went wide midway through the opening half, the visiting side were able to defend their goal without too many issues for the remainder of the opening stanza.
Team of Choice substitute Andrea Fillecia was to make an immediate impact when he was brought down by goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi to earn his side a penalty, which Lentjies duly converted to double the KZN side’s lead in the 65th minute.
The Chilli Boys thought they had pulled one back in the 68th minute when Lerato Manzini forced the ball into the net, but the goal was eventually ruled out after goalkeeper Virgil Vries was adjudged to have been fouled.
The home team reduced the deficit in the 77th minute when Lucky Sekome fired in a free kick, only to allow Maritzburg to go up the other end and score through Devon Saal to make it 3-1.
But there was to be another twist in the tale as once more Chippa hit back, Sekome pouncing on a mistake at the back to register his second goal eight minutes from time.
Maritzburg were, however, able to hold out for the remainder of the match without too many issues to make it three wins from their last four matches as they moved up to seventh.
African News Agency (ANA)