Bottom-placed Maritzburg stun Polokwane
Pietermaritzburg - Maritzburg United ended their 14-match winless run in the Absa Premiership when they beat Polokwane City 3-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday.
The Team of Choice remained 16th on the league standings despite recording their second win of the season, while Rise and Shine also remained seventh on the table.
The hosts got off to the perfect start as coach Eric Tinkler's changes broke the deadlock just four minutes into the encounter.
Thabiso Kutumela scored from close range to make it 1-0 to Maritzburg after Polokwane goalkeeper George Chigova had failed to handle the ball.
Rise and Shine then pushed forward in numbers with Salulani Phiri pulling the strings in the middle of the park for the visitors.
The Zambian midfielder's low shot was well-saved by Maritzburg goalkeeper Richard Ofori, who was well-positioned to make a save in the 13th minute.
The hosts looked dangerous every time they launched an attack and they managed to double their lead on the half-hour mark.
Fortune Makaringe set-up Mohau Mokate, who scored with a tap in to make it 2-0 to Maritzburg following a good move by the Team of Choice.
Polokwane coach Jozef Vukusic then introduced striker Charlton Mashumba as the visitors looked to level matters.
However, Maritzburg were able to hold on to their two-goal lead and they were up 2-0 at the interval.
An enthralling second-half followed as both teams launched attacks and the hosts managed to extend their lead six minutes after the restart.
Kutumela grabbed his brace with a low composed finish to make it 3-0 to Maritzburg with Makaringe registering his second assist of the game.
However, the Team of Choice conceded for the first time on the night when first-half substitute Mashumba netted with a header to make it 3-1 in the 59th minute.
The home side then piled pressure on Polokwane and Chigova had to produce two great saves to deny Kutumela and Judas Moseamedi as Maritzburg looked to restore their three-goal lead.
The momentum was the visitors in the closing stages of the game, but Ofori denied Walter Musona and Bongile Booi to ensure that Maritzburg ran out 3-1 winners over Polokwane on the night.
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