Chris Balie of Northern Cape during the 2015 SAB U21
Tuesday Jun 30, 2015. 15:04
Northern Cape held on to secure a 3-2 win over the Free State on day two of the 2015 SAB Under-21 Championship at Giant Stadium in Shoshanguve on Tuesday.
It was a game of two halves with the Northern Cape scoring three times in the first-half before a Thabo Maphakise brace in the second stanza saw the defending champions fall agonizingly short of yet another stunning comeback.
Northern Cape pulled in front within six minutes, Faheem Boer dusting himself off after being brought down inside the area to make it 1-0 from the penalty spot.
Man of the match and Castle Lager Football Academy SuperStar Christopher Balie doubled Northern Cape's lead soon after with a stunning strike.
Northern Cape continued their onslaught and made it 3-0 before the half-hour mark, Thato Maruping providing the finish.
A handball inside the area opened the door for a Free State comeback 12 minutes after the break, Maphakisa making no mistake from 12 yards.
Greyn van Neel should have restored Northern Cape's advantage soon after, but he failed to beat Majasto Xaba who made a stunning save.
Maphakisa made sure of a nervy finish with his fourth goal of the tournament in the 77th minute before seeing his hat-trick chance slip by in stoppage time as the Northern Cape held on to move level on points with the 2014 champions in Group A.