The sky is the limit for Maritzburg United

2014-12-04 00:00

JUST how far can Maritzburg United go this PSL season?

If their performance against Orlando Pirates in Soweto on Tuesday night is anything to go by, then the sky should be the limit. The 2-1 score line in favour of Maritzburg flattered their hosts, who were only able to land two shots on target throughout the match.

Maritzburg, simply, wanted it more than Bucs. They approached the game with a hunger and determination that could been seen in the players whenever they had lost possession. That mental ­aspect, combined with a clear tactical awareness that has all of the players on the same page, makes for a dangerous combination and that is what the other 15 sides in the league are beginning to learn whenever they take on the Team of Choice.

United look to hit sides quickly on the counter, but if there is nothing on, then they know not to panic and a patient build-up starts from the back. It is the art of figuring out when to go and when to stay that is beginning to set them apart from the rest.

On Tuesday night Maritzburg were shock 2-1 leaders at half time thanks to a Mohammed Anas brace, and many would have worried about their ability to stay composed in the second period against a Bucs outfit that should have been raging. But, as he always does, coach Steve Komphela had some philosophical words for his young squad.

“It is like when you buy a Lamborghini, park it at home and then can’t believe that you have the Lamborghini because it seems like a dream,” United’s mentor told The Witness yesterday when recalling his half time chat.

“Don’t be shocked by your performance. You have got to where you are because of how you played. We needed confidence, belief and strong minds ­because the second half was going to be a big task.”

The win puts United in a strong position with two very winnable home matches coming up. Tomorrow they host Tuks at Harry Gwala Stadium at 8 pm and then next Friday they host PSL strugglers AmaZulu at the same venue. Komphela says that his side must take at least four points from those two fixtures, but with how well they are playing right now, back-to-back wins might be the real aim.

Maritzburg will be favourites going into both of those matches — a tag that Komphela acknowledges his side are not used to wearing.

“We don’t have the maturity to carry the favourites tag yet,” said Komphela. “We saw that against Swallows [when United squandered a 1-0 lead in the last 10 minutes to lose 2-1 at home on ­November 26].”

The side arrived back in ­Pietermaritzburg yesterday morning and in the afternoon they were to have a light training session focused on ­regeneration ahead of tomorrow’s clash. It appears that all of the players involved in the win over Pirates came through unscathed.

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