• TTM edge Eagles to keep playoff hopes alive

    Happy Mashau of Tshakhuma Tsha Madzihandila FC challenged by Diego Brown of Royal Eagles FC

    Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila beat Royal Eagles 2-1 on Saturday afternoon to keep their slim hopes of promotion alive, while the result also opens the door for Maritzburg United who can secure their Absa Premiership status for another season with a win on Wednesday.

    TTM were yet to pick up a point in the promotion/relegation play-offs before kick-off and made they wholesale changes from their loss against the Team of Choice on Wednesday, as they looked to get their bid for promotion up and running.

    Eagles on the other hand were looking to join Maritzburg on six points in the play-offs after their opening day win at home against TTM.

    It was the home side though that got off to the perfect start when Wonderboy Makhubu fired his side into the lead with just three minutes gone. The forward picked the ball up before going on a strong run down the left flank before arrowing his shot into the bottom corner.

    Just a minute later Moma Medic’s men doubled their advantage as Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo picked up the ball from a horrible back pass which he took advantage of by smashing his shot low into the bottom corner.

    Eagles looked shell shocked by the quick start and were struggling to get a foot hold in the game which forced coach Sazi Ngubane hand as he made to make a tactical change on the half-hour mark, bringing in Diego Brown for Tau.

    The away side though they had pulled one back just before the break but Mashiane’s strike four minutes before the break = was ruled out for offside.

    2-0 at the break but the away side was beginning to ask some serious questions.

    Eagles though came out fighting in the second half and were rewarded for their fast start just three minutes after the break when Mashiane’s glancing header following a cross from Lesvin Stoffels on found the back of the net.

    TTM then looked to be solid in defence and not allow their opponents a way back into the game which resulted in a tight period where chances were at a premium.

    The home side though then almost secured the three points with 18 minutes to play as Nevhulamba let fly from distance forcing goalkeeper Patrick Nyame into a top save.

    The game became stretched in the closing moments as Eagles pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but TTM managed to hold on and clinch their first win of the play-offs.

    Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

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