United tighten grip on PSL status after impressive win

2014-04-04 00:00

IT would take a miracle for Maritzburg United to get relegated this season.

That is the view of coach Steve Komphela following his side’s emphatic 3-1 win over SuperSport United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday night.

It was the first time that Maritzburg have ever beaten SuperSport in the PSL, and it was a result that has left the Team of Choice seven points clear of Polokwane City in 15th place — the league’s dreaded promotion/relegation position — with only six rounds of fixtures remaining.

United host bottom club Golden Arrows at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday in a KZN derby that they would expect to win.

“I have always believed, since I arrived here, that we would not have any relegation worries,” Komphela told The Witness yesterday.

Maritzburg were made to come from a goal down after SuperSport’s Bradley Grobler had opened the scoring for the hosts. “The players worked very hard and always believed that they could turn the game around,” said Komphela.

First-half goals from Heinrich Isaacks and centre-back David Booysen saw Maritzburg go into the break ahead, before a late Terrance Mandaza strike — his second in as many games — secured all three points.

Mandaza has struggled for game time all season, and the tall Zimbabwean striker is finally getting some joy.

“It is very encouraging to see him scoring, nobody likes to train hard and not play,” said Komphela of Mandaza’s performance off the bench.

“Ideally we would love to have everybody playing well and getting opportunities.”

One man who knows all about training and not playing is goalkeeper Virgil Vries, who has played second fiddle to Shu-Aib Walters since joining the club in January last year.

But an inspired performance in Maritzburg’s Nedbank Cup last 16 penalty shootout win over Platinum Stars last month kick-started a rejuvenation for the Namibian, and he has now featured in his side’s last two league encounters.

Sunday’s clash against Arrows kicks off at 3 pm and will be televised on SuperSport Four.

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