Manyama’s late header salvages a draw for Chiefs
Lebohang Manyama’s goal against Maritzburg United earns Amakhosi a point in PSL match
Lebohang Manyama denied Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp the bragging rights of completing a double against his former club Kaizer Chiefs.
Manyama headed in an 87th minute equaliser to salvage a point for the beleaguered Amakhosi in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match that ended 1-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.
Judas Moseamedi, who started on the bench on Wednesday, scored two goals to help Middendorp’s team beat Chiefs 2-0 in the first round match in January.
The draw, which was the fifth of the season in 18 matches for Maritzburg, did not help them move from second from the bottom of the log where they are battling relegation alongside Black Leopards, Chippa United and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM).
Given their current form, Chiefs might as well join the relegation melee if they do not improve in the coming weeks. Only eight points separate Chiefs from bottom placed Leopards who suffered a 3-1 loss against TS Galaxy in the earlier match on Wednesday.
The draw, which is Chiefs’ eighth in 18 matches, will put more pressure on Amakhosi coach Gavin Hunt as it leaves the Soweto giants 11th, with just 20 points. Wednesday’s result was the continuation of Amakhosi’s poor form in the past six league matches in which they have failed to win, with four matches drawn and two ending in defeats.
Chiefs started the game slowly and took 40 minutes to get their only shot on target. Maritzburg, on the other hand, had three on target with one by Thabiso Kutumela beating Chiefs keeper Daniel Akpeyi to put Maritzburg 1-0 up.
Replays showed, however, that Maritzburg were lucky as referee Phillip Tinyani and his assistants did not see that Kutumela was offside when Ali Meza played in the cross that he finished with aplomb to score his sixth goal of the season in the 15th minute.
Maritzburg should have doubled their lead five minutes later when Bongokuhle Hlongwane was left alone to connect with Tebogo Tlolane’s cross on the right. The promising 20-year-old striker put his header over the crossbar much to the relief of Akpeyi, whose defence once again left him exposed.
Sensing defeat, Hunt introduced striker Samir Nurković for Lazarous Kambole, Njabulo Blom for Willard Katsande and Siyabonga Ngezana Philani Zulu at the restart. The change made a difference within minutes as Chiefs came close to cancelling Kutumela’s goal with Daniel Cardoso’s free kick almost turned in as own goal by Bandile Shandu.
Maritzburg, though, continued to search for more goals and went close 13 minutes before time when substitute and regular tormentor Moseamedi’s shot bounced off the crossbar with Akpeyi well beaten.
Middendorp and Maritzburg were to rue that missed chance as Manyama ghosted in from the far post to head in Chiefs’ equaliser with just three minutes remaining on the clock.
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