Maritzburg United end Amakhosi’s run

2014-02-12 08:39

Tefu Mashamaite scored nine minutes from the end to help Kaizer Chiefs salvage a 2-2 draw against Maritzburg United in their Premiership encounter at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg last night.

Ryan de Jongh had put the hosts in front just 70 seconds into the match with a spectacular 25-yard strike, and Kingston Nkhatha pounced on an error by Shuaib Walters to draw level after six minutes.

Bongolethu Jayiya scored a 35th-minute penalty to restore the lead for Steve Komphela’s side, before Mashamaite snatched the equaliser.

Even though the result ended Amakhosi’s run of nine successive wins, the point helped them stretch their lead at the top of the table to nine points. United climbed to 13th.

The match began frantically with United hitting the lead when a Rheece Evans cross was cleared straight into De Jongh’s path and the midfielder controlled nicely, before lashing in an unstoppable shot off the left upright into the back of the net.

But Chiefs hit back four minutes later when Walters’ attempt to hold on to a routine catch from Siphiwe Tshabalala’s shot went horribly wrong – the goalkeeper spilt the ball onto the crossbar and Nkhatha netted a simple tap-in.

The goal settled the visitors and they then firmly established a stronghold on the game. Nkhatha first fired powerfully, but straight at Walters, with Siboniso Gaxa then forcing the Team of Choice custodian to turn a close-range shot wide after an error from a defender.

United finally had their next chance on the half-hour when Jayiya ambitiously curled wide from 30-yards out, before two more long-range attempts by Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Tshabalala came to nothing.

The hosts went ahead when Lorenzo Gordinho sliced down Kurt Lentjies in the box, leaving referee Naasif Julius little choice but to award the penalty, which was tucked beyond Itumeleng Khune into the bottom right corner by Jayiya.

The Chiefs custodian had to be at his best to prevent United going two goals up after 44 minutes when he tipped over a towering Mario Booysen header from a Lentjies corner.

After a period of frustration for the visitors, when they were well matched by the home side, the equaliser finally arrived in the 81st minute when Mashamaite rose well to head in a Bernard Parker free-kick.

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