United lost chance to take second spot in PSL

2014-11-24 00:00

MARITZBURG United saw a golden opportunity to move ­into second position on the PSL table slip away when they drew 0-0 with Ajax in Cape Town on Saturday night. It was ­Maritzburg’s second successive goalless draw after their ­stalemate at home to Bloemfontein Celtic on November 5.

With Chippa United going down 1-0 to Celtic yesterday ­afternoon, Saturday’s draw means that Maritzburg do at least come back to Midlands having climbed a log position from fourth to third. That is perhaps as good a result as coach Steve Komphela could have hoped for given that United played the last 20 minutes ­without centre back David Booy­sen, who was sent off following a second bookable offence.

But, in truth, the quality on offer from both sides was poor and the result was an accurate reflection of a largely uninspiring advertisement for the PSL.

Neither side could keep the ball for extended periods and, as a result, there were very few clear cut chances created.

Maritzburg goalkeeper Virgil Vries had very little to do throughout the 90 minutes as Ajax continued to misdirect shots from range, while the closest the visitors came was from a John Paintsil header — the Ghanaian centre back’s effort clipping the crossbar.

Komphela will be the first to acknowledge that there is still much to work to do if United are to maintain their place in the upper tiers of the league. With fixtures coming thick and fast ­between now and Christmas, the next month will give United a far greater understanding of what is achievable this season.

Only six points separate Maritzburg in third and Free State Stars in 14th — indicative of how quickly log position can change after one or two bad results.

United are next in action on Wednesday night when they hosts Moroka Swallows at Harry Gwala ­Stadium.

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