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Maritzburg United up to third with deserved win in Cape Town

Maritzburg United eased to a comfortable win over Chippa United and moved to second place in the Premier Soccer League but only managed a single goal in a one-sided performance at the Athlone Stadium.

The winning goal came late in the first half from Philani Zulu against a home side that offered little and were thoroughly out played.

Maritzburg will be disappointed with their lack of finishing power given all the possession they had in this game. “We messed it up a bit in the final action,” admitted coach Ernst Middendorp afterwards.

But the result takes them to 12 points this season and keeps them unbeaten away from home after four games.

Maritzburg dominated almost from the start, looking somewhat bemused by the amount of possession they enjoyed and the ease with which they were able to set up chances.

But they missed a myriad of opportunities with overelaborate play and a timidity in front of goal before finally getting on the score sheet.

The Zimbabwean strike force of Cuthbert Malajila, called up for his country’s next international, and Terrence Mandaza should have had two or three goals before Zulu scored in the 35th minute.

Malajila had three attempts in as many minutes right in front of goal but failed to find the net and Mandaza looked lacking in confidence in his efforts.

Malajila might have scored first after 27 minutes after a one-two with Mandaza but failed to chip over the onrushing goalkeeper, instead having his shot smothered by Kassaly Daouda.

In the 33th minute a diving header from Mandaza, at the end of a Reuben Cloete cross, was saved by Daouda but within two minutes Zulu got his first ever goal in the top flight with a more powerful effort that took a wicked deflection off Chippa captain Gift Sithole.

But it was a mistake from Daouda that allowed the goal as he failed to punch clear another high ball.

Chippa stay just above the relegation zone with five points from seven games and could be bottom if the three clubs below them get points in their games on Saturday and Sunday.