Maritzburg keep survival hopes alive

Eric Tinkler (Gallo Images)
Eric Tinkler (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Maritzburg United's epic comeback in the final 10 minutes of their Absa Premiership encounter against Bloemfontein Celtic at Harry Gwala Stadium handed them a vital 2-1 win.

After a goalless first half, the visitors broke the deadlock just three minutes after the break through Menzi Masuku. Celtic seemed destined to secure the three points before Allan Kateregga bag a brace of goals in the 80 and 88th minutes of the match to hand the hosts a dramatic victory.

After a dull opening 10 minutes of the match Ndumiso Mabena almost opened the scoring in spectacular fashion, but saw his shot hit the post.

Celtic seemed to be dominating proceedings in the first half and claimed a vast majority of possession, but were toothless in attack and the final ball from midfield to attack seemed to never find it's man.

However, it was a different story just three minutes after half time. This time, because they were a brisk counter attack, they had a bit more space to move into and a neat team move cut straight through the Maritzburg defence and ended with Masuku tapping in an easy finish at the far post.

The visitors continued to dominate, but unfortunately suffered similar troubles in the final third as they did in the first half.

Even then, it seemed as if they had done enough to win the game when a sudden burst of energy from the home side in the final 15 minutes flipped the match on its head completely.

The equalising goal came, with more than a bit of luck, in the 80th minute when Kateregga's sweetly hit half volley took a huge deflection off a defender, leaving the goalkeeper with zero chance of stopping it.

Taking heart from the first strike, the on-loan forward then tried his luck again from long range eight minutes later and smashed it straight into the top corner to secure a crucial win for Maritzburg United in their bid to avoid relegation from the Absa Premiership.

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