It was a second time the Team of Choice beat Amakhosi at home with the first win in a Telkom Knockout match in Mbombela.
The defeat means Amakhosi’s lead at the top of the Absa Premiership standings is cut to seven after Mamelodi Sundowns won their match earlier in the day.
Heroics from goalkeeper Richard Ofori and a brace by Dylon Classen was the cause of misery for the Amakhosi camp and joy for their chasers in the race for the Premiership title which is set to get even hotter.
Ofori denied Amakhosi the opening goal in the 25th minute, making an unbelievable save from Samir Nurkovic’s headed effort from a corner. The Ghanaian keeper was called into making another brilliant save 10 minutes later, again denying Nurkovic by diving low to his right to stop the Amakhosi striker’s low shot from close range.
Besides the two chances and other half chances, there was not much happening in the first half as Maritzburg sat back and allowed their hosts to have more of the ball. But with a change in personnel with Siyanda Xulu making way for a more mobile Pogosho Sanoka, the Team of Choice started make more forward runs and breaking through the Amakhosi defence.
Chiefs should have taken the lead in the 63rd minute but Ofori was again on hand to stop Lebogang Manyama’s effort with another low five. But perhaps Manyama could have done better with his effort.
A minute later, Maritzburg took the lead. Daniel Akpeyi failed to deal with what looked to be an easy ball and it fell kindly for Tebogo Thlolane who then crossed it to Dylon Classen whi then slotted it home.
A minute later, Classen completed his brace, heading into an empty net from a Thabiso Kutumela cross from the rright. Amakhosi pulled one back 13 minutes to the end with Nurkovic finally getting the better of Ofori, beating him with a header from a corner kick swung in by Manyama.
The goal switched momentum to the home side who went looking for more and were almost rewarded in the 81st minute but Ofori tipped Khama Billiat’s effort over.
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