United aim to keep momentum going after stunning Chiefs

2009-09-14 00:00

MARITZBURG United completed a rare weekend of away sporting achievements with their 1-0 Premier Soccer League shock of Kaizer Chiefs at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

After the Springboks had wrapped up the Tri-Nations with their defeat of the All Blacks in Hamilton, United’s victory against Chiefs, thanks to Namibian winger Rudolf Bester’s lightning bolt, 33rd-minute, long-range strike, preceded the Sharks’ defeat of the Bulls at Loftus.

It was a deserved victory for the Team of Choice who have gone from from strength to strength early in their second season back in the PSL, with two draws, two wins and a defeat, leaving United in second place.

Bester’s goal came in a period when United were right on top of Chiefs, much to the consternation of the home fans and coach Vladimir Vermezovic, who has led Amakhosi to their worst start ever in the PSL.

United defended more actively in the second half, with goalkeeper Brenden Wardle pulling off a good fingertip save to deny Nkosinathi Nhleko. But the PMB team still could easily have doubled their lead as Bester beat the offside trap but curled a shot wide and missed an open goal from virtually under the crossbar.

United coach Gordon Igesund said yesterday the win was no fluke, and he was pleased at his players’ discipline.

“You saw again on Saturday that the guys are all fit,” he said. “It was a disciplined performance and I don’t think anyone who watched the game could say we were lucky, because we deserved the win.

“We clearly had a plan and stuck to it, and it worked. We didn’t let Chiefs get behind our fullbacks and we marked them down the middle.”

United play Bloemfontein Celtic at Woodburn Stadium on Wednesday night, “and that’s also a big game for us because we want to keep our momentum going and build consistency. And no one must think it’s going to be an easy game because they just get harder and harder.

“That’s why I want to appeal again to our fans to come and support us on Wednesday night and be our 12th man. We just had to play in front of 25 000 Chiefs fans and we want to give Celtic the same treatment.”

United had a number of star performers on Saturday, notably captain Bageta Dikilu in central defence alongside the solid, focused Byron Hendricks.

But it was Bester, playing his third match in the PSL, who announced his arrival in South African football with a goal of the highest quality and by tormenting right wing-back Jimmy Tau.

Nineteen-year-old Kulegani Madondo displayed maturity beyond his years breaking up Chiefs’ attacks in midfield.

“They [Bester and Madondo] did very well, but I still want them to get better,” Igesund said. “They disappeared a bit in the last 20 minutes when we should have trapped the ball better instead of kicking it away.

“Overall it was a fantastic performance and it made up for our last loss [away to Platinum Stars], when I felt we should have got something out of the game,” Igesund added.

* Tickets for United vs Celtic are available from Computicket, the club offices at 397 Victoria Road and SuperSave in Retief Street. The game has been moved from 7.30 pm to 8.15 pm due to the Muslim holiday of Laylatul Qadar.

Saturday: Mamelodi Sundowns 1 SuperSport United 1, Kaizer Chiefs 0 Maritzburg United 1, Mpumalanga Black Aces 1 Platinum Stars 1, Lamontville Golden Arrows 0 Orlando Pirates 0, Jomo Cosmos 0 Free State Stars 0

 

Yesterday: Moroka Swallows 1 Santos 0, Bloemfontein Celtic 1 AmaZulu 1, Ajax Cape Town 1 Wits University 1

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