Premium Journalist
1 minute read
27 May 2017
7:10 pm

Maritzburg secure seventh spot


A 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday was enough to secure Maritzburg United seventh position on the Premiership standings.

Fadlu Davids during the Absa Premiership match between Maritzburg United and Chippa United at Harry Gwala Stadium on November 29, 2016 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

Two years ago the Pietermaritzburg side achieved a first-ever top eight finish, only to survive relegation in the final minutes of last season. This time around, inspired by caretaker coach Fadlu Davids and a number of exciting youth team products, the club were able to able to secure their best-ever position in the Premier League.

The visiting team had a chance in the opening minute when Dumisani Zuma’s chip sailed just over the bar.

But Maritzburg came storming back with a succession of corner kicks as well as an effort from Fortune Makaringe which flew well wide, while Tshegofatso Mabaso came close to heading Kurt Lentjies’ corner into his own net.

After Evans Rusike missed another good opportunity for the Team of Choice, it was Phunya Sele Sele who took the lead in the 36th minute after Zuma’s shot deflected into the path of Mabaso to fire home.

Lentjies looked set to draw United level just before the break when his free kick flew towards the top corner, only for Patrick Tignyemb to make a breath-taking save.

But the KZN side had their equaliser four minutes after half time when Musa Nyatama’s low shot from the right hand side went in off the post.

The game slowed down somewhat after that, although the Team of Choice did miss a couple of half chances.

But with a draw suiting both sides – Maritzburg’s top eight hopes, and Phunya Sele Sele’s survival from possible relegation, the match played out without too much further incident before the full-time whistle.