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Kaizer Chiefs secure hard-fought victory over Maritzburg to remain in race for second place

Kaizer Chiefs needed a second-half penalty to defeat a determined Maritzburg United 3-2 and remain in the race for runners-up in the DStv Premiership at a sold-out Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday night.  

Keagan Dolly, Christian Saile and Yusuf Maart scored for Chiefs while Rafiq De Goede and Amadou Soukouna found the back of the net for the hosts.  

The Soweto giants needed to pull out all stops to win the game in order not to fall far behind in the race for the second-place finish in the league.  

This especially after their bitter rivals Orlando Pirates, who are third on the log table, beat second-placed SuperSport United 1-0 in the earlier game.  

For a moment it looked like Chiefs were going to drop points in the City of Choice, but Maart’s second penalty kept them in the race.

Both Pirates and Chiefs are now on 37 points and two points behind SuperSport with seven games to play.  

The match produced four goals in the second half that was entertaining and fast paced despite the hot conditions in the KwaZulu-Natal capital.  

Chiefs had the brightest start to the clash as they scored two goals inside the opening 10 minutes and it looked like they were going to walk all over the relegation-threatened Team of Choice.  

Amakhosi broke the deadlock five minutes into the clash when Dolly put the ball at the back of an empty net after being set up by Ashley du Preez.  

United goalkeeper Renaldo Leaner had an unfortunate moment when he left his goalposts and ran towards an unmarked Du Preez in a bid to close him down, but the shot-stopper fell flat on his face before getting to the striker.  

The forward had all the time to find Dolly who sent the ball past United’s defenders trying to cover for Leaner into the back of the net.  

Congolese striker Saile doubled Amakhosi’s lead five minutes later with a well-taken shot to beat Leaner.  

However, the Team of Choice displayed remarkable fighting spirit as they reduced the deficit on 20 minutes through defender De Goede, who headed in a Keegan Ritchie corner kick and exposed poor defending by Chiefs.  

The spirited Maritzburg found equaliser came four minutes before the interval when French-born striker Soukouna beat Chiefs goalkeeper Brandon Petersen with an excellent free kick.  

The second half was not as fast paced and entertaining as the opening stanza but both sides did create a few goalscoring opportunities.  

But it was Chiefs who were able to find the winning goal through Maart from the penalty spot in the 76th minute.  

De Goede brought down Du Preez inside the box and the referee gave the penalty to Chiefs.  

The victory sees coach Arthur Zwane enjoying a rare good run as his side has won four matches on the trot.  

Chiefs have registered three wins in the league and one in the Nedbank Cup.  

However, the result is not good at all for Maritzburg as they remain second from the bottom of the log table with seven matches left to play. 

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