KZN derby: United aim for 3 points

2011-09-17 00:00

MARITZBURG United host Durban’s Golden Arrows in their fifth PSL fixture of the season tomorrow and will be determined to take all three points on offer in what is the first KwaZulu-Natal derby of the season.

United are undefeated this season and have turned out impressive performances by drawing away to Ajax Cape Town and then coming back from a goal down to beat league champions Orlando Pirates in Pietermaritzburg.

Of the four matches the Team of Choice has played so far this season, three have been drawn while their only victory came against Pirates.

Coach Ian Palmer has expressed the importance of victory tomorrow.

“We need to improve our finishing and take our chances when they come,” he told The Witness. “We are playing at our home ground and we want to turn it into a fortress and win all of the matches we play there.”

United threw away a half-time lead to draw against Bloemfontein Celtic, away, on Wednesday night. Palmer spoke after the game about how disappointing it was to see his side squander chances in front of goal, and with striker Fadlu Davids still recovering from a fractured cheek-bone, the responsibility will once again be Diyo Sibisi’s to find the back of the net.

Sibisi has been in good form so far this season and has scored three league goals from the opening four rounds of fixtures.

United are also boosted by the fact that attacking midfielder Kurt Lentjies, who had missed the first three matches with a toe injury, got through the Celtic match in what the coach described as a “man-of-the-match performance”.

Arrows, who beat United 3-0 in both league encounters last season, have recovered from a poor start to the season by beating Platinum Stars 3-1 in midweek. They are coached by former United boss Ernst Middendorp, who returns to Harry Gwala Stadium tomorrow. The opportunity to get one over Middendorp is not of Palmer’s concern, though.

“That doesn’t matter at all to me,” the coach said. “We take we are friends.”

United are currently in eighth position on the PSL table after having set themselves the target of finishing in the top half and qualifying for next year’s MTN8. A win tomorrow would leave them undefeated after five and, with victory over the PSL champions already under the belt, looking like a side far better than the one that fought off relegation last term.

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