Maritzburg United 2-1 Golden Arrows: Team of Choice net two late goals to blunt Arrows

Eric Tinkler's men walked away with maximum points after striking twice in as many minutes at home against Abafana Bes'thende
Eric Tinkler's men walked away with maximum points after striking twice in as many minutes at home against Abafana Bes'thende

Two late goals from Maritzburg United were enough to down Golden Arrows 2-1 in a Premier Soccer League match which was played at Harry Gwala Stadium. 

Danny Venter opened the scoring for Abafana Bes'thende in the first half but the Team of Choice came back stronger in the second half to net two goals in quick succession through Daylon Claasen and an own goal by Nkosinathi Sibisi in the 88th and 90th minute, respectively.

Eric Tinkler's made two changes from the team that drew 1-1 against Kaizer Chiefs late last year as Mxolisi Kunene missed the encounter through suspension while Jeremy Brockie was dropped altogether. 

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Yusuf Jappie and Micah Lea'alafa cracked the nod as the Team of Choice looked to continue their resurgence under Tinkler. 

After a slow start to the encounter, the game sparked to life in the 24th minute when Keagan Buchanan tested Nkosingiphile Gumede from outside the box only for the Arrows keeper to fail to catch the ball before Kwanda Mngonyama's failure to score from the rebound. 

Steve Komphela's men found themselves ahead in the 39th minute when Venter was played through on goal by Ntsako Makhubela. 

Venter's first attempt was temporarily blocked by Richard Ofori but the rebound fell into the path of the former Free State Stars captain to roll the ball into an empty net from close range. 

Arrows eventually broke the deadlock with six minutes remaining of the first stanza after Venter went clear from Ntsako Makhubela's cross and struck a low shot that was saved by United shot-stopper Richard Ofori but he managed to turn home the rebound.

Maritzburg United needed a big performance in the second half and this is exactly what they brought from the dressing room as Judas Moseamedi put Arrows under immense pressure immediately after the restart. 

Rushine De Rueck and Mngonyama had to always be alert and guard Arrows against possible counter-attacks as the Team of Choice threw everything at their opponents. 

Knox Mutizwa could have killed the game midway through the second half after going clear on the left-hand side of the pitch. 

However, the striker failed to increase his tally of eight goals as he took his time to shoot at Ofori who eventually made a save to keep Maritzburg United in the game. 

Then the drama began with only two minutes of regulation time to go when Arrows was found wanting inside their own box. 

The Lamontville-based side failed to clear their lines and allowed the Team of Choice to claw back, thanks to a Claasen strike from close range. 

Claasen was left unmarked inside the box as everyone in that Arrows team focused on the ball. 

Thabiso Kutumela then forced Sibisi to score past his own goalkeeper Gumede in the 90th minute as his low cross wasn't dealt with by the defence. 

The goal came as a result of Moseamedi putting the Arrows defence under pressure. Tinkler's men moved above Orlando Pirates in fifth position - their highest league position since the former Bucs mentor took over last season. 

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