Mandaza double skins Leopards

Maritzburg United ended their winless streak in the Absa Premiership when they came from behind to defeat Black Leopards 2-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Nkosiyabo Xakane gave his side the lead early in the second half, but two late goals from Terrance Mandaza secured maximum points for the Team of Choice.

The first chance of the match fell for the home side in the third minute when Dillon Sheppard’s freekick was fumbled by Ayanda Mtshali, but the goalkeeper recovered well to block Philani Zulu’s follow-up shot.

Three minutes later Abbas Amidu should have done better at the other end when he was put through on the right, but he flashed his shot wide of the upright.

Then in the 13th minute a good move from the Team of Choice saw Delron Buckley finding Terrance Mandaza on the left side of the box, but he dragged his shot wide of the far post.

In the 29th minute Sheppard collected a pass from Mandaza on the left and cut inside to create some shooting space, but his right-footed shot flew just over the top right corner.

A minute later, the former Golden Arrows player almost capitalised when Leopards failed to clear a long pass from Ruben Cloete, but he sent his shot straight at the goalkeeper.

While Leopards did manage to create a few scares with Rodney Ramagalela proving to be a handful, it was the home side who managed to hit the target.

Zulu unleashed a powerful low strike from outside the penalty area in the 33th minute, but Mtshali reacted quickly to turn the ball around the post.

The Leopards goalkeeper was back in action again three minutes later, this time pulling off a great one-handed save to parry a rocket from Buckley.

The hosts continued to apply pressure and in the 38th minute Mandaza also came close to opening the scoring, only to send his shot over the crossbar, before sending his header wide on the stroke of halftime.

Two minutes into the second half it was Lidoda Duvha who almost took a surprise lead when Raymond Monama delivered an inswinging corner which looked to be creeping in at the near post, but Walters reacted sharply to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Five minutes later it was Amidu who used the stepover to create some space on the left, but he sent his shot crashing against the sidenetting.

The pressure eventually paid off in the 56th minute when Walters punched another Monama corner straight into the path of Amidu on the left, who then played the ball across for Xakane to fire into an open net.

Then in the 65th minute Cloete came close to levelling matters when a freekick from Buckley found his unmarked inside the box, but he sent his bouncing header straight at the goalkeeper.

Mohamed Awal then failed to keep his volleyed effort down in the 67th minute, while Michael Morton also sent his shot wide of the target two minutes later as the home side continued to waste their opportunities.

With time starting to run out for the home side, they squandered yet another golden opportunity in the 81st minute as both Awal and Mandaza failed to get a decent touch on freekick from Buckley.

However, the equaliser did arrive three minutes later as Sheppard nodded a long pass from Buckley across for Mandaza to bury his volley in the back of the net.

The hosts would find themselves ahead in the 86th minute as Mandaza took advantage of the space he was offered just outside the box to beat Mtshali with a brilliant shot with curled towards the top left corner as Leopards appealed in vain for a handball.

Maritzburg United (0) 2 (Mandaza 84’ 86’)
Black Leopards (0) 1 (Xakane 56’)


Maritzburg United: Walters, Petersen, Awal, Booysen M, Evans (De Jongh 90 +3’), Morton, Buckley, Cloete, Sheppard (Booysen D 88’), Zulu (Yende 90+2’), Mandaza

Black Leopards: Mtshali, Dzaga, Xakane, Khoza, Mabusela, Manaka, Mabunda (Sibiya 75’), Monama, Ramagalela, Obaje (Kamhuka 85’), Amidu