Maritzburg snatch last gasp win over struggling Stars

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Two goals in the dying minutes from Andre Fileccia fired Maritzburg United to second spot on the league table after a 2-1 Premiership win over Platinum Stars at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.

Fadlu Davids’ side could slide a little bit further down the table over the weekend, but for now they were able to celebrate a stunning late win over a Stars side which remains five points adrift of safety at the bottom of the log.

The opening goal, scored after 12 minutes, came with virtually Stars’ only threat in the first half, and it was from a set piece as Riyaad Norodien smashed a sensational free kick into the top corner, giving home keeper Richard Ofori absolutely no chance.

From that point onwards Maritzburg dominated proceedings, but despite some promising moments in attack, they were rarely able to open up the visitor’s defence in the opening half.

In fact, the only time they came close to scoring was when Deolin Mekoa’s drilled cross narrowly failed to find William Twala at the far post after 20 minutes.

The KZN side came out firing after the restart and it took a goal-line clearance from Stars defender Gift Sithole to keep out Mohau Mokate from close range, before Mekoa shot wide.

Mokate then drew a save out of Dikwena keeper Dino Visser with a 57th minute header, before Pogiso Sanoka rifled in a 25-yard shot which bounced off Visser and into the post before returning to the goalkeeper’s hands.

Visser also saved well from Fileccia, before Stars had a rare chance when Gerald Phiri’s free kick struck the side-netting.

It was looking like Roger De Sa’s side were going to hold on for the points, but Visser gifted the Team of Choice a way back in when he spilled a cross, resulting in Fileccia slamming home a clinical volley two minutes before the end of regulation time.

Sensing blood, and with the passionate large crowd fired up, Maritzburg went in search of the winner and they had their chance when Mokate won a 93rd minute penalty after a Charles Baloyi challenge, awarded by Victor Gomes.

Fileccia stepped up and stroked it home confidently as Maritzburg sealed victory deep in added time to spark wild celebrations on and off the field.