United put on poor show in Leopards tie

2011-09-26 00:00

WHILE they are still undefeated this PSL season, Maritzburg United turned out a poor performance to draw 0-0 against Black Leopards at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday afternoon.

With United’s defence seldom tested and goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters not being called upon to make any saves of significance, it was in front of goal where United were at their worst in a match that lacked quality from both sides.

Leopards started the brighter of the two sides in front of their home fans. Moses Kwena and Mongezi Bobe made good runs down the right-hand side of the field to put decent balls into the area that were dealt with convincingly enough by United’s defence. United’s Felix Obada then shot straight at Leopards ‘keeper Posnet Omony in the 10 minute, who made a good save from an acute angle. Six minutes later United were awarded a free kick in a position very similar to the one that Kurt Lentjies had scored from a week before against Golden Arrows. The midfielder stepped up once more and, aiming for the bottom left corner of the goal, missed narrowly with Omony seemingly beaten.

United’s Calvin Sosibo provided some decent service in his first start of the season.

It was in the 37th minute when United’s woes in front of goal would become glaringly evident, though. Sosibo found himself in acres of space and one on one against Omony.

With the goal at his mercy, he passed the ball straight into Omony’s outstretched leg — a fine save. The scramble resulted in the ball falling perfectly for Lentjies, who had followed up well, but he blasted over from well inside the area and Leopards were let off. Just two minutes later some great work from Sibisi down the left-hand side left Lentjies with another chance at goal from no more than a couple of metres away. His side-footed effort was incredibly blocked by Leopards defender Humphrey Khoza, who appeared out of nowhere when it seemed that Lentjies couldn’t miss.

Michael Morton replaced Matle before half time and United will have gone into the break wondering how they were not in front.

The second half was played at a higher tempo, but the quality of finishing at both ends of the pitch was still lacklustre.

Leopards should have taken the lead when Rodney Ramagalela shot over in the 65th minute. United’s best chance of the half came for Obada, who was put through one on one by Lentjies. He once more shot straight at Omony.

An undefeated United are now on 10 points at in sixth position on the PSL log. They next face Platinum Stars on Wednesday night in Pietermaritzburg in what will be a must-win game.

See tomorrow’s Witness for the Maritzburg United player ratings against Leopards.

sport@witness.co.za

 

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