Friday Feb 28, 2020. 22:41
Maritzburg United brushed aside Stellenbosch FC 3-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.
Stellies saw most of the ball in the opening exchanges with former Mamelodi Sundowns utility player Asavela Mbekile pulling the strings in midfield.
However, it was the Team of Choice, who broke the deadlock against the run of play 12 minutes into the encounter.
Bongokuhle Hlongwane netted with a header to make it 1-0 to Maritzburg after Thabiso Kutumela’s shot was parried into his path by Stellenbosch goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt.
The hosts looked dangerous every time they pushed with former Orlando Pirates striker Kutumela causing havoc for the Stellies defence with pace.
The diminutive attacker set-up Tebogo Tlolane with a low cross just before the half-hour mark, but the latter’s right-footed shot was deflected out from close range.
The visitors had a chance to equalize through Iqraam Rayners, but the striker placed his effort over the crossbar and the score was 1-0 to Maritzburg at half-time.
The Team of Choice dominated the match after the restart and they deservedly doubled their lead following a good move.
Hlongwane turned provider as he set-up Tlolane, who beat Langeveldt with a low shot to make it 2-0 to Maritzburg in the 57th minute.
Stellenbosch had a great chance to pull one back after Ryan Moon played a through pass for Alejandro Franco, whose effort was brilliantly saved by Maritzburg keeper Richard Ofori.
Ghana international Ofori became a busy man in the closing stages of the match and be made a decent save to deny Lelethu Skelem, before denying Moon twice.
Stellenbosch were left to rue those wasted chances as Hlongwane sealed Maritzburg’s 3-1 victory when he headed home Tlolane’s corner-kick in the 85th minute.
Maritzburg (1) 3 (Hlongwane 12′ 85′, Tlolane 57′)
Stellenbosch (0) 0
Maritzburg: Ofori, Kunene, Sanoka (Shandu 90’+1), De Reuck, Morgan, Buchanan (Timm 81′), Claasen, Ntshangase, Tlolane, Hlongwane, Kutumela (Moseamedi 77′)
Stellenbosch: Langeveldt, Mobbie, Van Heerden, Mthethwa, Robertson (Skelem 65′), Mbekile, Sinkala, Matsi (Scott 43′), Rayners, Franco (Isaacs 72′), Moon.