A late goal from Robert Sankara in the dying minutes of the match added to the stress of Maritzburg United’s troubles as Free State stars clinched a 3-2 victory at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday night.
In the 15th minute Danny Venter pulled a header but it missed the target. Two minutes later Kurt Lentjies came back and took a shot, but Daouda Diakite managed to put a stop to it. Virgil Vries was also given a test by Mrisho Ngasa, but he managed to pull off a great save.
In the 32nd minute defender Thamsanqa Teyise tried to get his second goal of the season and give Maritzburg United a lead but his shot missed the target.
In the dying minutes of the first half Mrisho Ngasa came close in finding a break but his effort at goal missed to the right of the net, and this saw the two teams going to the halftime goalless.
In the second half it was Rusike who came with the first effort with a header that went over the crossbar before being replaced by Deolin Mekoa few minutes later.
In the 62nd minute Danny Venter found the back of the net with a great left-footed finish to give Free State Stars a 1-0 lead after having received a ball from Bokang Thlone.
A minute later substitute Mekoa delivered a great ball inside the box but Reabetswe Rakoti thwarted him.
Maritzburg continued to press hard on the visitors and they finally got their break when they were awarded a penalty after a hand ball from Themba Tshabalala and Lentjies made no mistake to give his side an equaliser.
In the 75th minute Venter took a direct free kick but his shot went over the cross bar and two minutes later he had another opportunity, but this time he hit the side netting.
Four minutes later Free Stars got the lead and this time it was through Andrea Fileccia, who netted a powerful penalty after Philani Zulu had carried out an unfair tackle on him.
In the dying minutes of the match substitute Mohhamed Anas displayed some great leadership as he netted an equaliser for United after an assist from Shai.
In the 90th minute it was Robert Sankara who spoiled the party for Maritzburg United as he netted a winning goal for a 3-2 victory.
Maritzburg: Vries, Mngonyama, Teyise, Zulu, Pantsil, Moholo (Anas 71’), Lentjies, Shai, Hartog, De Jong (Mokate 88’), Rusike (Mekoa 54’)
Stars: Diakite, Sankara, Shabalala, Thlone, Mashego, Mohomi (Somaeb 71’), Masehe, Fileccia (Sekola 83’), Venter, Thethani ( Rakoti 45’), Ngassa