Maritzburg United gave their all but couldn’t break down the Orlando Pirates defence in a 0-1 Absa Premiership defeat at a packed Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night.
In the end, Vincent Pule’s 67th minute goal proved the difference as United were unable to turn a number of promising positions into more clearcut scoring opportunities.
With so much on the line for both teams and a packed out Harry Gwala Stadium bursting at the seams, the scene was well set for a thriller.
Home keeper Richard Ofori had some early work to do as he kept out a 25-yard effort from Thembinkosi Lorch, before there was a close escape for Maritzburg defender Rushine de Reuck when he brought down Innocent Maela right on the edge of the penalty box, with a free kick rather than a spot kick the outcome.
An under-hit back pass from Brian Onyango in the 14th minute nearly let in Lorch to score, but veteran defender Nazeer Allie showed all of his experience when he got back to clear off the line.