The Absa Premiership midweek round-up

absaprem-logoMARITZBURG United moving off the bottom of the Absa Premiership table highlighted the penultimate round of action that took place across the country on Wednesday.

The Team of Choice, who had occupied the automatic relegation spot for a large portion of the season, finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel and set the cat amongst the pigeons with victory over Ajax Cape Town.

Those pigeons or United’s relegation rivals were University of Pretoria and Jomo Cosmos, who both dropped points – the latter losing to Lamontville Golden Arrows.

Abafana Bes’thende and Maritzburg were joined by champions Mamelodi Sundowns, Chippa United and Bloemfontein Celtic as the clubs to have registered wins in round 29.

But the undisputed winners in midweek where Ernst Middendorp’s charges. After spending close to eight months in last position, they climbed a place to 15th with a 1-0 triumph over 10-man Ajax in Pietermaritzburg.

The visitors had Abbubaker Mobara sent off, before Thamsanqa Mkhize (85) netted a late winner, one that took the home side to 24 points.

Tuks, meanwhile, are the new bottom side on 22 points after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Polokwane City at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Sipho Jembula (8) and Thobani Mncwango (74) scored for the home side, with Shaun Bartlett’s side replying through Khetu Zwane (18) and Vuyisile Ntombayithethi (70).

There was still hope for the Pretoria side as Maritzburg meet third-bottom Cosmos in their final game, with the loser in danger of being caught by them.

Jomo Sono’s men stayed on 25 points after going down 1-0 to Arrows in KwaMashu, where Musa Bilankulu (45) netted the winner.

Arrows, on the other hand, gave their top eight prospects a massive injection after they leapfrogged SuperSport United into eighth following Matsatsantsa’s goalless draw with Mpumalanga Black Aces in Atteridgeville.

Their other top eight rivals, Orlando Pirates, also slipped up when they went down to 2-0 to Chippa, who are now sixth.

Joseph Molangoane (29) and Buyani Sali (60) were on target at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The most thrilling game of the night was in Phokeng, where Celtic fought back to claim a 3-2 win over hosts Platinum Stars.

Thapelo Morena (30) had given the visitors the lead, but Eleazar Rodgers (49) and Letladi Madubanya (52) seemed to have turned the tide.

Lyle Lakay (60) and Fiston Abduol Razak (74), though, had other ideas as they snatched all the points to left Siwelele to 10th.

Dikwena just about held on to third after Kaizer Chiefs dropped points in an engaging 2-2 draw against Free State Stars at Goble Park.

Siphiwe Tshabalala (90) netted a stoppage time equaliser after the home side had twice lead through Sthembiso Ngcobo (15) and Nyiko Tshabangu (54). Willard Katsande (41) also netted from the penalty spot.

Finally, the 2015/16 champions Sundowns scored a 1-0 win over second-placed Bidvest Wits with Khama Billiat (25) grabbing the only goal at Bidvest Stadium.

The Brazilians now have 68 points and remain on course to break the points tally record set by Kaizer Chiefs last season, after they managed to accumulate 69 points in the 16-team format.-www.psl.co.za

 

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