New man Yakubu Mohammad scores for Team of Choice in win

2013-08-05 00:00

NEW Maritzburg United hitman Yakubu Mohammad was delighted after hitting the back of the net on his debut for the club.

The Ghanaian striker hit the solitary goal as the Team of Choice beat PSL new boys Polokwane City 1-0 at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.

After the game, Mohammad told The Witness he wanted to score more goals for the club, sidestepping the name of the man he replaced and last season’s top goalscorer for United, Cuthbert Malajila.

“It was a good game. I want to score a lot of goals for the club. I don’t have a target of how many I will score, I’ll just have to go out and work hard,” the striker said.

Talking through his 68th minute goal, which came after Dillon Sheppard had laid the ball off for him from a set piece, he said: “Some of the free kicks we work on. Dillon put the ball in my path and I tried to hit it. I’m very happy it went in.”

The striker was not the only man happy with Saturday’s result in front of their loyal supporters.

“I’m totally happy,” coach Ernst Middendorp told The Witness.

“The first game of the season is always the hardest because you don’t know where you stand. We saw their intention, and that was to sit back and take it to 0-0,” said Middendorp.

He said they did have room for improvement, but they achieved what they wanted to in the game against the National First Division champions.

“We wanted to pick up three points, and that is what we did,” the coach said.

United now go into a break for three weeks as focus shifts to the MTN8 and internationals, but Middendorp said that period would be good for his team, especially with injured players returning.

“Ashley Hartog is in training, but he is not kicking the ball. He will start with that next week,” he said.

Disappointed Polokwane City coach Duncan Lechesa said his boys would have to learn from the mistakes they made in the game.

“We’ll get better as the season goes. The boys gave it a shot, but we gave away too many free kicks. I told them they [Maritzburg] will score from a set piece because they couldn’t score in open play,” said Lechesa.

He said their main aim for the season was to fight for survival.

A concern for United was injury-prone winger Orlando Smeekes going down and staying on the ground before the end.

Middendorp said he hoped the knock wasn’t that bad and would only know once the player was assessed.

Smeekes recently underwent knee surgery and was a surprise inclusion on the bench.

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