Maritzburg See Off Valiant Eagles

March 12, 2018

Maritzburg United struck late in the second half to earn themselves a 2-1 win over Royal Eagles in the Nedbank Cup last 16 on Sunday.

Maritzburg started the better of the two sides and almost took the lead in the sixth minute, but Deolin Mekoa saw his 24-yard shot strike the post and bounce away from danger.

Two minutes later, Eagles nearly scored when Philani Cele met a right-sided free-kick in the box, but his header from six yards sailed inches over the crossbar.

The next decent scoring chance came in the 20th minute when Mohau Mokate was put through on goal by Lebohang Maboe, but the former was denied in a one-on-one situation with the Eagles keeper.

Maritzburg suffered a massive set-back a minute before the break when they were reduced to 10 men following a second yellow card for Bevan Fransman.

Nonetheless, despite being a man down, Maritzburg managed to take the lead in the dying seconds of the first half when Mekoa tapped home from close range after latching onto a low right-wing cross from Siphesihle Ndlovu, 1-0.

Eagles came out firing in the second half and almost equalised in the 57th minute when Philani Cele broke into the box, but he was superbly thwarted from close range by the Maritzburg keeper.

The home side continued to push forward and were rewarded for their efforts in the 69th minute when Siyanda Xulu brought down Lesego Manganyi inside the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Mame Niang stepped up for the Eagles and made no mistake from the spot to level matters, 1-1.

Ten minutes later play was temporarily suspended due to inclement weather conditions (thunderstorm).

After a 45-minute delay, play got back underway and Eagles came close to winning the match in the 83rd minute when an 18-yard strike from Mpho Mvelase struck the crossbar.

Six minutes later Maritzburg re-took the lead when Siyanda Xulu headed home a Mekoa corner-kick to hand the top flight team the win on the day, 2-1.