Absa Premiership

Maritzburg ease past Urban Warriors

Andrea Fileccia (Gallo)
Andrea Fileccia (Gallo)

Durban - Maritzburg United responded to the shock departure of Roger de Sa last week by returning to the Premiership top eight with a comfortable 2-1 win over Ajax Cape Town at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday night.

Belgian striker Andrea Fileccia marked his long awaited first start after a horrific knee injury with the opening goal after 39 minutes.

Brian Onyango then doubled the lead in the 65th minute, before Aubrey Funga set up a tense finish by nodding in six minutes from the end.

It was a result that came a week after De Sa resigned, with interim coach Fadlu Davids leading the home side back into the top eight.

The hosts began brightly and almost took the lead inside the opening few minutes when an ambitious Bevan Fransman shot from just inside his own half dipped over the goal of Jody February.

Ajax’s first chance came in the 20th minute when Thabo Mosadi crossed from the right for Mark Mayambela, whose effort was a poor one across the face of goal.

Moments later and Mayambela should have made amends when he skipped past two defenders and failed to hit the target – with only the goalkeeper at his mercy.

Six minutes from the break, the hosts took the lead in a flowing move from midfield to attack.

It was started by Siphesihle Ndlovu in midfield as he threaded an excellent ball through to Kwanda Mngonyama on the right, with a pass then rolled into the path of Fileccia, who skipped the ball beyond the onrushing February and into the back of the net.

However, the lead was doubled just after the hour when Onyango rose highest to head in a Deolin Mekoa corner.

With time running out substitutes Funga and Prince Nxumalo forced stunning point-blank saves from Virgil Vries, before the former set up a nervy finish by heading in Mosadi’s right-sided cross.

Evan Rusike then missed a sitter when he rolled the ball wide instead of lifting over February after he was put through. But it mattered little as the home side held on.

 

Denis Weidlich had a chance after the break that he ballooned well over, while Fransman drilled a free-kick on target but straight at the Urban Warriors’ custodian.