Santos back on song

Santos returned to winning form with a much-needed 2-0 win over Maritzburg United at the Athlone Stadium on Friday night.

The majority of the first half failed to deliver much in the way of highlights as both teams struggled to hold on to the ball and string passes together. The home side did, however, enjoy most of the ball possession, but failed to utilise it to good effect, and with the exception of their goal, they did not create any clear-cut opportunities.

Maritzburg were also shy in front of goal — but did have a good chance in the 37th minute when Lynch Pule struck with a blistering volley. However, Santos keeper Francis Chansa was well positioned to make a good save.

Seven minutes later the People’s Team capitalised on attack to maximum effect when Graham King slipped the ball through for Romano Scott, who sized up the angle before placing the ball in the bottom corner of the net.

United showed a marked improvement in the second half as they pushed forward with much more urgency and intent.

However, by focusing more on their offensive play they left space open at the back and made themselves vulnerable on the counter-attack.

A quick break in the 57th minute gave King the chance to volley home, but his effort was off target.

United’s Tony Tsabedze was guilty of wasting an excellent opportunity to level matters after 70 minutes when he hammered the ball over the bar after an intelligent pass from Sipho Mngomezulu.

The Cape side were content to soak up the pressure and take the chances that did come their way.

An 82nd-minute free kick was taken full advantage of by Santos as Erwin Isaacs smashed a 20-yard free kick into the back of the net to double the lead.

United could have pulled a goal back two minutes from time when they were awarded a penalty after Tsabedze went down inside the box.

Fadlu Davids was, however, unable to find the back of the net as the charismatic Chansa pulled off a great save to make sure that there were no late thoughts of a comeback for Maritzburg. — Sapa

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