Clinical Maritzburg End Downs' Title Chances
Absa Premiership Report: Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United 17 May 2017
Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 2-2 Maritzburg United
Date: 17 May 2017
Venue: Lucas Moripe Stadium
Mamelodi Sundowns' title hopes were dashed after they played out a 2-2 draw with Maritzburg United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Maritzburg looked threatening early on, as Evans Rusike and Kurt Lentjies saw a lot of the ball in the opening 10 minutes.
Pitso Mosimane's charges, on the other hand, struggled initially, but started seeing more of the ball after 15 minutes although they were finding it tough to carve out chances.
However, Maritzburg took the lead in the 30 minute when an un-marked Brian Onyango sent a powerful header past Kennedy Mweene, following a corner from Deolin Mekoa.
Mosimane responded by withdrawing Bangaly Soumahoro for Thabo Nthethe for the final 10 minutes of the first half.
Nevertheless, the Team of Choice managed to withstand the pressure in the closing stages of the half and went into the break leading their Tshwane counterparts.
Sundowns controlled proceedings from the onset, but the game was interrupted by a number of stoppages in the opening 10 minutes.
The hosts were then dealt a blow on the hour mark when Khama Billiat was forced off with an injury. He was replaced by Anthony Laffor.
However, it was Maritzburg who doubled their lead in the 67th minute as Evans Rusike sent a superb chip over Mweene, after picking up the ball on the halfway line.
Hlompho Kekana nearly pulled a goal back in the 81st minute, but Virgil Vries produced a superb save to deny the Sundowns skipper.
Sundowns did a pull goal back in the 88th minute when substitute Yannick Zakri slotted past Virgil Vries from close range.
The hosts did pull another goal in stoppage time, as Zakri bagged his second after an error from Vries, however the score remained 2-2 at the full-time whistle.
The draw sees Sundowns remain in second spot, four points behind Bidvest Wits, who have been crowned champions with one game to go.
Here's how they lined up:
Sundowns: 1. Mweene, 4. Langerman, 27. Morena, 29. Soumahoro (Nthethe 34'), 32. Madisha, 10. Modise, 13. Mabunda, 33. Billiat (Laffor 63'), 18. Zwane, 8. Kekana, 22. Tau.
Maritzburg: 30. Vries, 16. Fransman, 5. Weidlich, 2. Onyango (Sanoka 63'), 13. Makaringe, 19. Rusike, 37. Ndlovu, 26. Shandu, 15. Maboe, 29. Lentjies (Mokate 68'), 28. Mekoa.