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Maritzburg 2-1 Bloem Celtic

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Malajila: Two-goal hero

Malajila: Two-goal hero

A brace from Cuthbert Malajila helped Maritzburg United to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Bloemfontein Celtic at Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Heading into the game on the back of a 2-0 Telkom Knockout quarter-final defeat at the hands of SuperSport United, Maritzburg must have feared the worst when they found themselves behind only three minutes into the game.

Luyanda Bacela got on the end of a cross from newly recruited midfielder Mduduzi Nyanda and hit a curling right-footer past goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters to give the visitors the early lead.

The Team of Choice, though, quickly grew into the game and they were back on level terms after 17 minutes when Orlando Smeekes set up his fellow striker Malajila.

The former Zimbabwean international's shot from outside the penalty area found the bottom-left of the goal.

Malajila was again at it nine minutes later to give the hosts the lead, this time he found the left-hand corner after Terrence Mandaza turned provider from the right.

Bacela and Lerato Manzini had shots to draw Celtic level before the break while Maritzburg defender Byron Hendricks's header from a free kick went over the bar.

Maritzburg continued to enjoy more of the possession in the second half, but goalscoring opportunities from both sides proved to be far and between with substitute midfielder Ryan De Jongh's lob against the bar the best.

With Kaizer Chiefs beating Golden Arrows on Tuesday, the victory helped the Team of Choice to move to back within six points of the Premier Soccer League pace-setters with the likes of Orlando Pirates, Wits and the University of Pretoria keeping them company.

Clinton Larsen's men, who headed into the match on the back of penalty shoot-out victory over Orlando Pirates in Telkom Knockout, remain mid-table on 11 points.

Posted: 07/11/12 19:52

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