Harris Tchilimbou of Free State Stars
Wednesday Aug 08, 2018. 21:41
Maritzburg United suffered a second loss at the start of the Absa Premiership season as they were beaten 2-1 by Free State Stars at Goble Park on Wednesday night.
Goals from Harris Tchilimbou and Goodman Dlamini saw Ea Lla Koto to their first three points of the season, while the Team of Choice suffered a second straight defeat.
Stars threatened early on and were unlucky not to claim the lead inside the opening minute, as Goodman Dlamini saw his long-range shot go just wide of the mark.
On 17 minutes it was Maritzburg’s turn to strike at goal, with Mxolisi Kunene letting fly with a left-footed drive, but the ball flashed over the crossbar.
Just past the half hour mark Dlamini once again had a sight of goal from outside the box, but his curling effort didn’t trouble United goalkeeper Richard Ofori.
Ea Lla Koto were enjoying the better of the play but struggled to break down United’s defence, which was well marshalled by captain Siyanda Xulu.
The first chance of the second half went the way of the Team of Choice, with explosive midfielder Siphesihle Ndlovu finding space for a shot just outside the box but the effort went wide of the target.
On 65 minutes Stars broke the deadlock through Harris Tchilimbou, who netted from a penalty. The spot kick had been awarded after a foul on the Congolese attacker in the 18-yard area.
Maritzburg responded to going behind by sending on attacker Deolin Mekoa and Keletso Makgalwa, with the latter almost pulling the visitors level with a 72nd minute shot which rebounded off the woodwork.
The KwaZulu-Natal side’s hope of a late equaliser were dealt a major in the 85th minute when midfielder Fortune Makaringe received a second yellow card and was sent off.
Three minutes later Ea Lla Koto took full advantage of their numerical advantage and doubled their lead, with Dlamini curling home a fine shot to ensure the three points remained in Bethlehem.
Maritzburg did pull a goal back through Makgalwa late in added time, but it proved to be no more than a consolation.
Stars will return to Absa Premiership action next week Sunday when they play away to AmaZulu, while Maritzburg’s next league clash is two days prior to that at home to Kaizer Chiefs.
Free State Stars (0) 2 (Tchilimbou 65’ pen, Dlamini 88’)
Maritzburg United (0) 1 (Makgalwa 90+3’)
Stars: Sangare, Mobbie, Keita, Masehe, Tema, Jappie (Jantjie 80’), Maruping, Makhaula, Dlamini, Tchilimbou (Mahamutsa 85’), Rodgers (Moseamedi 63’)
Maritzburg: Ofori, Sanoka, De Reuck, Xulu, Thlone (Mekoa 70’), Makaringe, Ndlovu, Shandu, Atouba (Makgalwa 70’), Kunene, Mokate