Sundowns sneak late win over Maritzburg
CAPE TOWN – A Lyle Lakay goal deep in added time at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening earned Mamelodi Sundowns a 2-1 league victory over Maritzburg United.
Gaston Sirino had given the Brazilians the lead shortly before halftime, with Siyanda Xulu equalising in the 56th minute before Lakay’s 92nd minute winner.
Things had looked quite promising for the visiting side early on – after Themba Zwane had fired two shots wide for Sundowns, Maritzburg had a couple of good opportunities of their own as home keeper Denis Onyango was forced to tip a Kwanda Mngomnyama header over the bar before reacting sharply a minute later to keep out Thabiso Kutumela’s snap shot.
However, as the game moved past the 15 minute mark, Masandawana began to increasingly exert their influence on proceedings, with chances following for Zwane, Sirino, Jose Meza and Hlompho Kekana in quick succession, although none were able to find the net.
Meza was then inches away from scoring in the 36th minute when a poor touch by Maritzburg keeper Richard Ofori while controlling a back-pass, had given him the chance to shoot.
That's it Masandawana! The Brazilians managed to secure a well deserved victory as Lyle Lakay came off the bench to score the winner!— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) September 21, 2019
Mamelodi Sundowns (38' Sirino, 91' Lakay) 2️⃣ ➖ 1️⃣ Maritzburg United (55' Xulu)#Sundowns #DownsLive #AbsaPrem pic.twitter.com/0fmYwthDcf
The breakthrough was not long in coming though as the Brazilians went ahead through Sirino, who ran onto a defence splitting pass from Motjeka Madisha before beating Rushine de Reuck and then curling the ball sublimely past Ofori.
Meza was close to adding another goal before the interval when he ran onto a long ball and pulled the trigger, but Ofori did very well to close down the angle and make the block.
With a couple of halftime changes made by Maritzburg coach Eric Tinkler, the KZN side came out playing positively after the restart.
And following a sustained period of pressure, the visitors were back on level terms in the 56th minute when Xulu headed in at the back post against his former club, following an excellent corner from Dan Morgan.
The Tshwane side were unlucky not to reclaim their lead shortly after conceding, as Thapelo Morena curled a shot from an audacious angle against the woodwork.
Mosa Lebusa was then kept out by Ofori – when he really should have scored from Kekana’s lovely ball, before substitute Phakamani Mahlambi scuffed a great opportunity right on the goal line.
Maritzburg, however, looked to be holding on for the point, until with the game in added time, Lakay was given space in the box and controlled the ball before volleying goalwards, the shot deflecting off Xulu and into the net.
African News Agency (ANA)