United in tricky encounter

2014-10-22 00:00

TONIGHT sees both Maritzburg United and AmaZulu in PSL action, with both KZN clubs playing outside of the province.

Maritzburg have the tougher task, travelling to Pretoria to meet SuperSport United who are unbeaten since falling under former Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund’s mentorship.

SuperSport have found their form in front of goal, netting an impressive nine times in their last three outings while conceding just once. It is something that coach Steve Komphela is aware of, and he has identified tonight’s match as a potentially difficult encounter.

Maritzburg have been convincing this season, especially at home, and tonight is an opportunity for them to show that they not only have the desire and potential, but also the technical ability to beat the bigger, richer clubs from up north.

United are still without midfielder Sibusiso Kumalo, who is awaiting knee surgery, and Thabang Matuka, nursing an ankle strain.

Matuka has been ever-present for Maritzburg so far this season, but in his absence in Saturday night’s 3-1 win over Platinum Stars Zimbabwean Khumbulani Banda stepped up with an inspired performance.

Given the physical nature of that win at Harry Gwala, Komphela will be expected to make some changes tonight to compensate for this week’s fixture congestion. It is encouraging, then, that he has already demonstrated such flexibility in his team selection so far this season.

For AmaZulu, the trip to Free State Stars in tonight’s early 6 pm kickoff is a good opportunity to register their first win of the season.

Things have become desperate at Moses Mabhida Stadium, and Charles Mopeli Stadium might not be the worst place for AmaZulu to be as they look to put the disappointment of the season so far behind them.

Caretaker coach Wilfred Mugeyi was pleased by what he saw from his charges in their 1-0 loss to Chippa United on Saturday, but that old F-word — finishing — was once again the problem.

The good news on that front is that Bafana Bafana striker Bongani Ndulula is expected to start. Though he has been in good form for the national side, Ndulula has netted just once for his club this season — a stat that he, Mugeyi and the Usuthu faithful would like him to change in a hurry.

Captain Carlington Nyadombo is also back from suspension to marshall the AmaZulu defence while left-back Marc van Heerden remains sidelined with injury.

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