Maritzburg hold leaders Wits to a draw

Maritzburg United (File)
Maritzburg United (File)

Pietermaritzburg - Maritzburg United continued their upward spiral thanks to a fighting goalless draw at home to Absa Premiership leaders Bidvest Wits at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.

The hosts rekindled memories of last season with an impressive performance, but failed to break down the visiting defence and ended up slipping to the bottom of the table. The visitors on the other hand stayed at the summit.

Their best chance came in stoppage time at the death when Mohau Mokate was sent through by Fortune Makaringe, but saw his effort was denied by Darren Keet.

The Students' best opening was when Gift Motupa found himself in acres of space in the box but failed to hit the target.

The home side made a bright start and could have gone ahead after seven minutes when Pogiso Sanoka found himself unmarked in the box but failed to find the target from Keletso Makgalwa's corner.

Fadlu Davids' side again came close after 17 minutes when Makgalwa's free-kick fell to defender Rushine De Reuck, but his effort from the centre of the box was kept out by Darren Keet.

United continued to carve out the better chances and more excellent play from on-loan Mamelodi Sundowns man Makgalwa saw him weave his way into the box, before firing straight at Keet.

The same player curled inches wide as Maritzburg went into the break buzzing.

After the restart, replacement Deolin Mekoa forced Keet to tip over his 30-yard effort as the hosts again threatened.

It took until midway through the second half for Wits' best chance that arrived when Deon Hotto delivered a pin-point cross from the left that was headed down by Mxolisi Machupu and forced Richard Ofori to make a brilliant close-range save.

With 14 minutes to play, new Wits player Simon Murray volleyed over the bar, before a mix-up between Ofori and Sanoka handed Motupa the best chance of the game with two minutes to play. Unfortunately, he rushed his opportunity and failed to keep the ball on target ahead of an open goal from six yards out.

United then saved their best for last and it came when Makaringe broke away and threaded in Mokate, whose attempt came back off Keet as the match ended in a stalemate.

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