MARITZBURG UNITED OUTSMART WITS IN MIDWEEK BATTLE

Maritzburg United returned to winning ways in the Absa Premiership with a 1-0 victory over Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium in Braamfontein on Wednesday evening.

Thabiso Kutumela’s solitary strike fires the Team of Choice level on 30 points with the Clever Boys and cements sixth place for the KwaZulu-Natal club ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures. Wits remain in fifth.

Victory also snapped a five-game winning run for Wits against their opponents on home soil as they drop valuable points in their pursuit of league leaders Kaizer Chiefs.

Both teams were cautious in their approach in the opening exchanges with neither willing to give an inch in what was an important game for both teams for different reasons.

The Team of Choice found their rhythm first in a half that ebbed and flowed and the visitors were duly rewarded on the cusp of halftime as Kutumela continued his scoring streak.

Tebogo Tlolane’s perfectly weighted pass found the forward who beat the offside trap before holding his nerve and firing a low shot past the onrushing Ricardo Goss for his fifth goal of the year.

Bidvest Wits searched for an immediate response and almost got one as Terrence Dzvukamanja burst into the area, but Richard Ofori got down well to keep his rasping shot from finding the back of the net.

Gavin Hunt introduced both Gift Motupa and Deon Hotto following the interval and the duo seemed to have the desired impact as the hosts looked more menacing in attack.

Rushine de Reuck, though, proved a difficult obstacle to overcome with the Maritzburg defender on the end of everything and diverting any potential danger.

Wits finally conjured a chance through Motupa in the 84th minute, but he could only succeed in glancing his header attempt wide of goal as Maritzburg duly held on for all three points and a valuable away win.

Bidvest Wits (0) 0

Maritzburg United (1) 1 (Kutumela 44′)

Bidvest Wits: Goss; Hlanti, Mkhwanazi, Gordinho, Macheke, Alexander, Nange, Dzvukamanja, Sekgota (Hotto 46′), Doutie (Domingo 72′), Eva Nga (Motupa 46′).

Maritzburg United: Ofori; De Reuck, Allie, Sanoka, Ntshangase, Buchanan, Tlolane (Xulu 90′), Kunene, Kutumela (Augusto 72′), Claasen, Brockie (Shandu 84′).

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