United - back to winning ways

2017-04-26 06:03

MARITZBURG United returned to its winning ways after defeating Baroka 3-1 in an Absa Premiership match at Harry Gwala Stadium last Friday.

The win saw the Team of Choice climb to seventh spot in league standings while Baroka remain 15th on the log table.

Speaking after the match, United’s interim caretaker coach, Fadlu Davids­, said he is happy with the team’s performance.

“It was a bit of a risk to start on the field with three defenders, but I think it paid off.

“We created the spaces we wanted to exploit and got the two goals.

“Of course in the second half, you don’t want to concede in the first 15 minutes, but they showed the fight to hold on.”

United’s first goal was bagged 11 minutes into the game by centre-back Kwanda Mngonyama. Mohau Mokate doubled United’s score and put them in a 2-1 lead while Bevan Fransman settled the match with a late free kick.

Going into the game, Davids said they didn’t want to take risks after Brian Onyango received a red card in their match against Orlando Pirates.

“Last week we had two red cards and Evans Rusike is sitting on a yellow. We didn’t want to take a risk, which is why we opted for a change at the start of the second half.

“We had to solidify with two left footers - number 10 and on the left hand replaced with Themba Shabalala.”

Davids said that strategy backfired because in the first 15 minutes they were defending to lead and allowed Baroka back in the game.

He said their next game against Chippa United is going to be tough.

“We need one more point to get to 30 and then we can concentrate further to set the next target. The next game away will be tough, but we’ve got enough time to prepare and get our structure right to handle them.”

The 23-year-old first-goal scorer Mngonyama received praise for his performance, but said it was not an easy game.

“We knew they were going to come at us, we had to be awake and work harder. The match gave us a chance to bounce back after losing against Orlando Pirates. We had home-ground advantage - we were playing at home with our fans behind us so we gave it our all.”

Man of the Match Kurt Lanjties said they deserved the three points.

“When we were leading 2-0, we lost momentum a bit, we started off the game well and the third goal was a sigh of relief.

“We deserve the three points, but this is a match that we should learn from. We sacrificed ourselves for the team and even when things didn’t go well we worked hard as a unit.”

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