Desperate Cosmos likely to come out with guns blazing

2012-05-11 00:00

AFTER a week in which the club has been in the headlines for matters off the pitch, Maritzburg United return to PSL action tomorrow against a relegation-threatened Jomo Cosmos at the Sinaba Stadium in Benoni.

United are in the comfortable position of knowing that they have secured their PSL status regardless of what happens in their remaining two fixtures. Cosmos, on the other hand, will be desperate for three points in front of their home fans. At the bottom of the log, Jomo Sono’s men are six points adrift of Cape Town’s Santos in 15th position, though they do have a game in hand over their relegation rivals.

United goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters said his team-mates were prepared for this.

“They still have a mathematical possibility of avoiding the straight drop and we know that they are going to come at us guns blazing,” Walters told The Witness yesterday. “They play a local brand of football and they like to pass the ball from the back; I have watched quite a few of their games and they could easily be in a different position on the table.”

United beat Cosmos 3-1 in the first round of league fixtures this season in a match when Ian Palmer, coach at the time, was under massive pressure to win following a poor run of results. Mor Diouf, Felix Obada and Prince Olomu were the goal-scorers for United that day, all foreigners, but the foreigner on everybody’s lips at the moment is Zimbabwean Cuthbert Malajila. Under coach Ernst Middendorp, Malajila has scored in all of his last three outings.

Wins against Mamelodi Sundowns and then Kaizer Chiefs were followed by an equaliser at home to AmaZulu last Tuesday — a goal that effectively squashed United’s relegation concerns.

“He has proven his quality to everybody with the goals that he has scored,” said Walters of Malajila.

“When he first came to us he was short on game time and needed to improve his match fitness, but he will definitely be somebody to watch out for next season.”

While United still have a mathematical possibility of reaching the top eight position that was made a priority at the beginning of the season, their inferior goal difference compared to that of AmaZulu makes this virtually impossible.

“We still have a lot to play for in these last two matches,” said Walters. “If we [beat] them then we can improve our log position, and finishing as high as possible is what we are trying to do now.”

Good news for the Team of Choice is that they will have everybody fit and available for the clash and nobody out with suspensions.

The match kicks off at 3 pm and will not be televised.

• sport@witness.co.za

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