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In an even game, the home side showed good character after losing their first five league games of the season, and earned their point
The Maritzburg United fighter showed great personality to come from a goal down and claim a 1-1 draw against Mamelodi Sundowns at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday night.
Tshwane’s team had taken the lead in the 31st minute through Themba Zwane, but the Team of Choice struggled to equalize in the 60th minute through Kwanda Mngonyama as the KwaZulu-Natal team recorded a point, the first of the season. in his sixth league game. , under new coach Ernst Middendorp.
Maritzburg had a strong first half, despite meeting with a goal at half-time, and it was the home team who had the first real chance of the night in the 15th minute, when Thabiso Kutumela’s header was well stopped by the goalkeeper. rival Denis Onyango.
Sundowns then got going and three minutes later they were close to scoring when Zwane cut the ball for Peter Shalulile, knocking out goalkeeper Sebastian Mwange in the process, but Shalulile was turned away by defender Nazeer Allie, who brilliantly cleared the line.
The action continued at both ends as Mwange made a good reflex save from a stabbing drive from Shalulile before Kutumela had another save shot after a good interaction between Mngonyama and Judas Moseamedi.
The Sundowns were set to take the lead in the 31st minute when a deft interaction ended with former Maritzburg midfielder Lebohang Maboe crossing low for Zwane to score from close range, his sixth league goal of the new season.
There was a good chance for the hosts to even level six minutes later when Kutumela cut off his right foot and threw a very narrow curling effort.
After the break, Sundowns squandered a great opportunity to double their lead when Mwange sent an Erasmus shot into Shalulile’s path, only for the Namibian to fire the ball over an open goal.
Mwange was forced to leave the field a few minutes later after injuring himself while landing from an aerial challenge, being replaced by Jethren Barr.
It was at the other end of the park that the next action occurred, resulting in a tie at the hour mark for Maritzburg when Mngonyama headed brilliantly from a Dan Morgan corner.
After a more positive play from the home team, it was Masandawana who had the next clear shot at scoring when Hlompho Kekana unleashed a long-range shot, which Barr did well to overcome.
With 12 minutes to go, there was a bit of drama on the sidelines when referee Victor Gomes showed a red card to Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi, who will now miss the next two matches.
The game held tight before the next opportunity came in the 86th minute and there could have been a winner at home when Kutumela went clean on goal, but a strong touch allowed Onyango to slip off his line and make the block.
That was the last real start when the game ended in stalemate at 1-1, a fair reflection of an absorbing encounter.