A chance to move up

2014-02-15 00:00

ALL three of KwaZulu-Natal’s PSL sides are in action this weekend, and while AmaZulu look to solidify their position amongst the league’s top clubs with a clash at home to Wits today, Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United will be desperate for points to move away from the relegation zone in their matches against Free State Stars and Mpumalanga Black Aces respectively.

Arrows are in action today, and Maritzburg tomorrow, with both clubs playing away from home.

Maritzburg are a rejuvenated force under new boss Steve Komphela, who has collected four points from a possible six since taking over at the Team of Choice.

Tuesday night’s thrilling 2-2 draw against Kaizer Chiefs at Harry Gwala Stadium will have taken a lot out of United’s players, who threw themselves around the pitch, putting their bodies on the line — a trend that is likely to become par for the course under Komphela. But the result was not without its bad news, and United will be without the influential Kurt Lentjies for tomorrow’s clash after he pulled his hamstring and was substituted against Chiefs. He has three assists and a goal to his name in United’s last two fixtures, and his presence will be sorely missed.

For Arrows, every game from now onwards is do-or-die. Rooted to the bottom of the table, they are tied on points with their opponents today though they have played one game more than the Free State side.

Having parted ways with coach Mark Harrison, Arrows were victorious last weekend against Polokwane City under assistant coaches Shaun Bartlett and Bheka Phakathi. Today’s opportunity to move off the foot of the table is massive for them, and they will be doing everything in their power to collect maximum points.

KZN’s only safe club this season remains AmaZulu. Undefeated in four matches in 2014, Craig Rosslee’s men have not conceded a goal in over 300 minutes of league football.

The Carlington Nyadombo-marshalled defence has been solid, and the Zimbabwean defender has paid tribute to his team-mates,

“We have been defending like brothers. We have a good understanding. Even when we make mistakes, we are there to support each other,” he told Weekend Witness this week.

Another major boost for Usuthu has been the form of goalkeeper Philani Zikalala, who has gone from third choice to the starting line-up in a matter of weeks.

“I think that he has been outstanding. His work in the last few games has shown that he deserves to be where he is,” said Nyadombo.

PSL fixtures:

Today: Free State Stars v Golden Arrows; Polokwane City v Orlando Pirates; AmaZulu v Wits; Mamelodi Sundowns v Ajax Cape Town

Tomorrow: University of Pretoria v Platinum Stars; Black Aces v Maritzburg Utd.

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