United share spoils

2013-12-21 00:00

MAMELODI Sundowns’ Khama Billiat broke Maritzburg United’s hearts with a stoppage time equaliser to prevent the visitors from winning their first game since October.

The game ended at 2-2, and broke the Team of Choice’s streak of five consecutive losses against a title-chasing Sundowns side that now find themselves on a run of three games without a win, and have conceded top spot in the league to champions Kaizer Chiefs.

It was Sundowns that were out of the blocks quickest, with Maritzburg United seemingly happy to sit back and try to catch them out on the counter.

And it was Sundowns who were first on the scoreboard as Katlego Mashego found the back of the net in just the 10th minute of the game.

United’s defence were in sixes and sevens when Elias Pelembe received the ball from Dove Wome in the box. The Mozambican unselfishly played it to an unmarked Mashego who slotted past Shu-Aib Walters.

United then seemed to switch off as the Brazilians continued to to attack in search for a second, but they found a resolute Walters hard to tough to beat as he made a number of saves to keep the Team of Choice in the game.

Sundowns were handed a perfect opportunity in the 32nd minute to go 2-0 up after Mohammed Awal was judged to have brought down Khama Biliat in the box and a penalty was awarded.

Walters pulled off a save to deny Mashego his brace, and United were back level within a minute when Dutchman Orlando Smeekes headed in Thamsanqa Mkhize’s cross from the right touchline into the back of the net.

United seemed to play the ball more in the second half, and they went in front when Booysen beat Mweene at the near post to make it 2-1.

But, with the game into stoppage time, United’s frailties in defence once again creeped up as Billiat found himself with space and beat man-of-the-match Walters, who was having a storming game, to make sure that the spoils on the day were shared.

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