• Maritzburg egde Eagles in play-offs

    Maritzburg United got their promotion/relegation play-off campaign off to a winning start after edging Royal Eagles 1-0 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday afternoon, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.

    The Team if Choice narrowly avoided automatic relegation to the National First Division (NFD) after claiming 15th place in the league standings following their draw against Baroka in their final game of Absa Premiership season.

    Meanwhile, Eagles got their playoff campaign to a positive start after claiming a narrow 1-0 victory over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivandila through a goal from Mbulelo Wambi last Wednesday.

    The home side got off to a good start and early took the lead after eight minutes when Makaringe picked out Mokate in the box with a delivery from tje right, but the striker failed to make proper contact on his header to trouble the Eagles keeper.

    United produced another attempt at goal three minutes later when Kunene crossed the ball into the path of De Reuck, but his diving header at the near post was pushed wide by Nyame.

    Mokate nearly broke the deadlock after the half hour mark, but fired his effort straight into the hands of Kunene.

    Maritzburg’s persistence paid off seven minutes later when Kutumela fired his side ahead with his side footes effort at the far post.

    The home side went into the half time interval with a one-goal lrad over Eagles.

    Kunene came to his sides rescue early in the second half when he made a great save to keep out Kutumela’s free-kick from outside the area.

    The Team of Choice continued to dominate proceedings after 65 minutes as Moseamedi came on to replace Mokate.

    At the other end, Eagles grew into the game in the closing stages of the game and nearly levelled matters after 76 minutes, but Richard Ofori got down load to keep his side ahead.

    The visitors should have equalised, but Ofori did well to keep out Lesego Mamganyi’s header off the line.

    However, Maritzburg held on to their lead until the final whsitle to claim all three points at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

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