Maritzburg United let a lead slip in their 1-1 draw against AmaZulu FC in a DStv Premiership encounter at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night.
Despite the draw the Team of Choice climbed up to the 14th spot on the league standings ahead of their Nedbank Cup encounter against Kaizer Chiefs at home on 10 February.
Usuthu, meanwhile, moved up to the sixth spot on the standings and they are next set to take on ABC Motsepe (Northern Cape) club Tornado FC in a Nedbank Cup clash at home on 12 February.
Both teams started the match brightly and it was the hosts who threatened first when Ali Jose Meza forced goalkeeper Veli Mothwa into a decent save in the 11th minute.
At the other end, keeper Renaldo Leaner had to produce a good save to deny Abubakar Mobara nine minutes before the half-hour mark as both teams searched for the opening goal.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 32nd minute when debutant Kwame Peprah netted his first goal for the hosts to hand Maritzburg a 1-0 lead.
The Team of Choice were able to contain Usuthu in the opening stages of the second half and they should have doubled their lead in the 66th minute, but Peprah missed a sitter.
Usuthu upped the tempo towards the end of the game and Guily Manziba’s powerful shot was saved in the 90th minute by Leaner who was determined to keep a clean sheet on the night.
However, Manziba was not to be denied in stoppage time as the DR Congolese winger scored to ensure that the game ended in a 1-1 draw with fellow substitute Hendrick Ekstein providing the assist.
Maritzburg (1) 1 (Peprah)
AmaZulu (0) 1 (Manziba 90’+4)
Maritzburg: Leaner, Make, De Goede, Palace, Cross, Human (Graham 46′), Moloisane, Jooste (Theron 85′), Meza (Njoti 59′), Kimvuidi (Hlongwa 85′), Peprah (Samu 76′).
AmaZulu: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Mabiliso, Zulu, Mobara, Malepe (Buchanan 46′), Bwalya, Maduna (Manziba 76), Qalinge (Ntuli 66′), Dion, Zuma (Ekstein 46′).
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