Maritzburg send Sundowns packing in MTN8

Motjeka Madisha challenged by Evans Rusike Motjeka Madisha challenged by Evans Rusike

Mamelodi Sundowns were eliminated from the MTN8 after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Maritzburg United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday afternoon, writes Dylan Appolis.

Pitso Mosimane opted to start with new signings Oupa Manyisa and George Lebese on the bench, while Fadlu Davids started  Evans Rusike ahead of  Andrea Fileccia in their attack.

The Team of Choice started off brightly and produced the first chance of the match when Pogiso Sanoka was left unmarked before heading his effort wide of the mark.

With 30 minutes played, both sides struggled to find their feet in the encounter as they tried to keep ahold of possession in the middle of the park.

Denis Weidlich nearly gave Maritzburg the lead in the 36th minute after some good interplay, but the defender could only find the side netting with his strike.

The Brazilians came the closest to taking the lead just before the half-time interval when Khama Billiat hit the woodwork with his strike from 12 yards out.

Sundowns came out with more intent in the second half, defender Thabo Nthethe hitting the crossbar with his headed effort at goal.

However, the Team of Choice eventually took the lead in the 58th minute as Rusike found the net with his volleyed effort to make it 1-0.

Sundowns had a chance to level matters eight minutes later when Billiat latched on to a cross from Thapelo Morena before guiding his header wide of the target.

Mosimane’s side could’ve sent the match into extra time, but Hlompho Kekana failed to hit the target with his effort in the closing stages of the match.

Maritzburg United were able to hold on to their one-goal lead over Sundowns until the final whistle to advance to the next round of the competition.

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Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix