United’s solitary goal cause for concern

2013-09-17 00:00

GOING into their next PSL game of the season, only one other team in the league have scored fewer goals than Maritzburg United.

Orlando Pirates have yet to score in the league, but then again they have only played once as they have been busy with their campaign on the continent.

The Team of Choice go into their game against Mpumalanga Black Aces tomorrow off the back of a 2-0 defeat at the hands of champions Kaizer Chiefs.

Before that, they were held 0-0 by the University of Pretoria, and beaten 2-0 by Free State Stars. To remember the last goal United scored in the league this season, one would have to go back to their opening weekend 1-0 win over new boys Polokwane City at Harry Gwala Stadium.

Captain Michael Morton felt the problem was not that the club lacked firepower up front, but rather the taking of opportunities.

Their solitary goal this season came from the boot of Ghanaian striker Mohammed Yakubu, who missed the trip to the FNB through injury.

Throughout the season, coach Ernst Middendorp has reiterated that Yakubu, who finished second on the scoring charts in the Ghanaian league for two seasons in a row, needed to be given time to get used to the PSL.

Morton said: “Scoring needs to be rectified. It’s not a matter of a lack of firepower, but not taking opportunities.”

A plus for United on the weekend was former SuperSport United midfielder Ashley Hartog getting 90 minutes on the pitch, giving them more options going forward, and Morton felt this was important.

“It was a great effort by him to last the full 90 minutes having just come from a month off. I’m glad to have him back in the side,” Morton told The Witness yesterday.

Because of Saturday’s result, Morton felt it was important to get a good result in their next game and said the squad had stepped up their effort in preparation ahead of the game against the newly promoted Aces.

Another plus for United is having the ever reliable Shu-Aib Walters between the sticks.

The former Bafana Bafana shotstopper kept United in the game for large parts of the game on Saturday and was rewarded by winning the man-of-the-match award and praises from the coach and the captain.

“He kept us in the game for long periods when we looked like we were out of it. We could have snuck an equaliser and been back in the game due to good goalkeeping,” Morton said.

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