United in a ‘healthier situation’

2009-03-06 00:00

MARITZBURG United’s Premier Soccer League relegation battle hopes have taken a significant boost following a 2-1 victory over Bay United in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday night, and some beneficial results.

The victory, in a tough, bottom-of-the-table scrap saw third-last United open a five-point gap on Bay, who have played two more games and are now almost certain to finish last and be automatically relegated.

Second-last Bloemfontein Celtic lost 1-0 to SuperSport United and are four points behind Maritzburg, while Thanda Royal Zulu were defeated 2-1 by Santos and are just a point above the PMB team.

“It’s like popping a blister and relieving the pressure,” United coach Gordon Igesund said yesterday. “We know we’ve still got a lot of work to do, but things get easier when you have less pressure. And five of the seven games we have left are at home.”

After weathering the early storm by employing Sylla Mbemba and Bageta Dikilu in defensive midfield, substitute Fanyana Dhladhla scored in the 59th minute for United and set up John Arwuah’s 88th-minute winner after Linos Chalwe equalised for Bay with 10 minutes left.

“We took the game on the basis of not losing because we knew it wasn’t a situation where we could go for the kill.

“But we also knew Bay were desperate and would probably make mistakes,” Igesund said.

“We knew they would come at us, so we kept it very tight in the middle and at the back. I had the pace of Fanyana Dhladhla and Sipho Mngomezulu on the bench, and with virtually his first touch after coming on Fanyana scored.

“I’m proud of the way the players fought for each other. It was a situation where Bay knew that if they won they would be above us, or five points behind with two more games played, which is what happened.”

United turn their attention to knockout action when they face Thanda in the Nedbank Cup at Woodburn Stadium on Sunday, and Igesund admitted he is still unsure of the exact way to approach the game.

“We have to have our priorities right. Most importantly you don’t want to pick up injuries and suspensions.”

With Tashreeq Goldman still injured United fielded new goalkeeper Michael Babale on Wednesday. “Michael had a solid debut,” said Igesund.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.