TTM boost survival hopes with a crucial win over Maritzburg United
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DURBAN – An eye catching goal from Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo in the 68th minute made the difference as Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila earned a crucial 1-0 win over Maritzburg United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday evening.
After having spurned a good one on one at goal opportunity just two minutes before, the 25-year-old showed good technique to slot behind Maritzburg keeper Marcel Engelhardt despite having had three Team of Choice defenders in his path.
Prior to the start of the game, TTM boss Dylan Kerr indicated that his side would have to approach all of their remaining fixtures as though they are Cup finals if they are to retain their Premiership status for next season.
Veteran TTM forward Lerato Lamola started the game well and managed to get behind the Maritzburg defence in the 11th minute though he could not pick out a team-mate.
TTM did press and probe around the Maritzburg goal in the early stages of the first-half though Maritzburg’s Ryan Rae in particular was impressive in cutting those out.
Maritzburg United did look disjointed towards the end of the first half and in the second half. Had it not been for some composed goalkeeping from Engelhardt, they could easily have conceded at least two goals before the end of the first half.
The German goalkeeper made three saves in three minutes between the 38th and 40th minute as he denied the likes of Thabo Rakhale and Ndlondlo with alert stops.
Maritzburg’s attack which has often been a bit overly dependent on the skills of Thabiso Kutumela failed to really threaten the TTM goal of Washington Arubi in the first half. The closest that they came to scoring was in the 28th minute as Clayton Daniels unleashed a powerful shot which went off Arubi for a corner.
The 36-year-old Daniels did put the ball in the back of the net a minute later though he ended up getting flagged for offside.
The result means that Maritzburg are now firmly back in the relegation battle level on points with TTM and just three points clear of 15th place Chippa United.
Meanwhile, TTM who won the Nedbank Cup last week have since leapfrogged Stellenbosch FC into 14th place in the standings.
Kerr’s side’s next two games are against the likes of Baroka FC and Chippa before they conclude their season against unpredictable Orlando Pirates so they will certainly fancy that their remaining fixtures will allow them to avoid the drop.