Durban — Yusuf Maart converted the winning penalty as Kaizer Chiefs kept their CAF Champions League ambitions alive with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday night.
Amakhosi secured three consecutive league victories for the first time since September/October and stayed fourth, but moved within two points of second-placed SuperSport United.
A low-on-confidence Maritzburg outfit began the match in horrible fashion and pretty soon found themselves a goal down as a collection of errors allowed Keagan Dolly to open the scoring.
The hosts were hit on the counter-attack as Mduduzo Shabalala played Ashley Du Preez in behind the Maritzburg defence before Renaldo Leaner slipped while attempting to rescue the situation.
Du Preez then showed great composure to find Dolly in the box who found the net with defenders scrambling in front of him.
One quickly became two for Chiefs as January arrival Basomboli fired a thunderbolt from the edge of the box to double the visitor’s lead.
The home side wasn’t about to take another beating laying down as defender Mogamad De Goede pulled one back, converting a well-delivered corner on the near post and giving his side a lifeline.
The Team of Choice fought back and found the leveller through a well-taken free-kick by striker Amadou Sokouna on the edge of the box.
The French forward stepped up after Karim Kimvuidi had been fouled by Zitha Kwinika, his effort leaving Brandon Pieterson in the Chiefs goal with no chance and restoring parity in the 42nd minute.
An Amakhosi outfit looking to make it four wins on the trot in all competitions visited one of their favourite opponents in the Team of Choice looking to claim a third victory over Maritzburg this season.
As the bodies began to tire in the second half, the tempo of the game slowed down too with a few errors creeping in for both sides.
De Goede then turned from potential hero to villain after he was adjudged to have fouled Du Preez in the penalty area.
Maart showed great composure as he calmly slotted past Leaner and handed Chiefs the advantage and potential winner once more.
For Maritzburg, the struggle to exit the delegation zone continues as they stay on 15th spot on the DStv premiership standings.