Good win, but United are not carried away

2014-08-28 00:00

MARITZBURG United coach Steve Komphela was keeping his feet firmly on the ground despite the club securing its biggest Premiership victory for over three-and-a-half years on Tuesday night.

The Team of Choice produced an assured attacking display as they trounced Chippa United 3-0 at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.

A goal on debut from new Ghanaian forward Mike Mohammed added to a sublime Nhlahla Vilakazi finish and a Sheldon van Wyk strike helped United join the early season pace-setters at the summit of the table.

But Komphela stopped short of calling it the best performance since he took charge of the side in January.

“We played well, but it wasn’t the best performance since I’m here,” he said. “We knew it was going to be difficult before this game because they overload your defensive third in a manner that is unthinkable.

“You have to deal with their numbers and then they move forward really quickly offensively. That’s one of their strengths and always gives them hope.

“So it was an overall pleasing performance by the team. They stuck to the plan and we are happy with the result.”

Despite the huge scoreline, the visitors were always in the contest and came close to scoring several times before letting themselves down in the final third.

He continued: “In a match of this nature, if you don’t score another goal, it is always a danger.

“So even at 2-0, I was not comfortable. It only got better at 3-0. But I think we stuck to the plan.

“We saw them against Tuks (University of Pretoria), they are very good on the ball and it’s something we had to acknowledge. We needed to watch that and also find a way forward, which we did.”

Apart from Mohammed, who also set up a goal, all the other debutants impressed. Accomplished Ghana defender John Paintsil, one of the most decorated international players to ever grace the PSL, was assured at the back, while Zimbabwe winger Khumbulani Banda was a constant menace down the left.

Apart from the three, Vilakazi was making his first start of the season, along with goalkeeper Virgil Vries as Komphela rang the changes.

“Mohammed had been doing well in training, so we went with him,” the United coach explained. “We’re also trying to get the right combination at the centre of defence, therefore I went with John (Paintsil).

“Mohammed (Awal) is the same player like Kwanda (Mngonyama), very combative. So we felt John with all his experience could do a job, that’s why we changed.

“The goalkeeper, we wanted to complement people so we gave Virgil a chance.”

The victory was Maritzburg’s biggest since they beat Ajax Cape Town by the same scoreline on January 19, 2011.

“At the end of the day, it’s three goals and three points, what more can you ask for? That’s what people want and that’s what we delivered and I’m sure there’ll be a few more people here for our next game.”

Next up f or Komphela is a trip to former club Free State Stars over the weekend.

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