Contrasting fortunes for two of KZN’s teams

2014-08-15 00:00

IT is early days yet, far too early to draw any conclusions, but KwaZulu-Natal’s two PSL clubs currently occupy opposite ends of the league table.

Maritzburg United are sitting pretty in third position, undefeated after two matches, while Durban’s AmaZulu wasted chances aplenty on their way to a 2-1 defeat at Moroka Swallows on Wednesday night. Usuthu have now collected just one point from their opening two encounters and are fourth bottom.

Swallows coach Zeca Marques acknowledged after the match that his side had been outplayed by AmaZulu, but that will count for little in coach Craig Rosslee’s eyes as he watched striker Bongani Ndulula and co. waste opportunities.

“We came here and dominated the game. We should have been one up in the first few minutes when Drogba [Ndulula] came one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but failed to score,” Rosslee told after the match in Soweto.

“Swallows would have been lucky to even get only one point from the match. We have worked on finishing in the training sessions, but we are not converting our chances.”

It is a real concern for Rosslee, who has been set a target of a top-four finish as well as a trophy in one of the cups this season.

Those expectations may seem a little unrealistic at the moment, and it gets worse for Usuthu in that their next league clash is a date at a wounded Orlando Pirates on Wednesday night.

But further Inland the story is one of optimism as Steve Komphela’s youngsters continue to impress. Four points from six has been the reward for the coach’s decision to throw the likes of striker Mohau Mokate, winger Deolin Mekoa and midfielder Mondli Cele into his matchday plans. All three of those new signings were effective in Wednesday’s thrilling 2-1 win over a fiesty Polokwane.

For Komphela, Wednesday night’s match was a good advertisement for South African football, and he hoped that such quality would result in an increased attendance at Harry Gwala Stadium this season.

“When teams play beautiful football you attract people to the stadium,” he said.

“There is nothing as bad as when you come to the stadium and go home with nothing to remember. But in this match there were moments that were pleasant with some really good motions. People will go home saying that they want to see this team again.”

There are not the strict expectations at Maritzburg as there are at AmaZulu this season — none that have been made public, anyway — but there is now a real sense that Komphela is onto something special. A top-eight finish will remain the minimum goal, but Maritzburg must now prepare for a trip to title-challenging Wits on Wednesday night.

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