Maritzburg United progress to first ever Cup final

Maritzburg United booked their place in the Nedbank Cup Final with a convincing 3-1 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Maritzburg United players celebrate a goal. Picture: Twitter/@MaritzburgUtd

JOHANNESBURG - Maritzburg United booked their place in the Nedbank Cup Final with a convincing 3-1 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Sundowns stormed out of the blocks when Uruguayan midfielder Gaston Sirino found the back of the net inside the first two minutes of play for an early lead. The Brazilians continued to dominate the first half creating numerous chances to double their lead.

The dangerous front-line trio of Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Percy Tau menaced the Maritzburg defense in the early stages of the first half, but they just couldn’t convert their dominance into a crucial second goal.

The hosts then kicked into gear in the last quarter of the first half and equalized through a thunderous Lebohang Maboe strike two minutes before the half-time break.

Sirino turned from hero to villain in a space of a few minutes as he was sent off for a reckless challenge and an off the ball incident, leaving Sundowns to play with 10 men for the remainder of the game. Maritzburg capitalized on the numerical advantage and took the lead for the first time when Mxolisi Kunene beat Dennis Onyango for their second goal.

Fortune Makaringe then put the game to bed in stoppage time to book Maritzburg into their first ever cup final in the club’s history.

Fadlu Davids’ men will now take on Free State Stars in the final in Cape Town on 19 May after they beat Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 in the first semi final on Saturday afternoon.