KwaZulu-Natal: Returning players give Maritzburg United boost for Amazulu clash

2012-05-01 00:00

IT really is now or never for Maritzburg United if they are to challenge for the top eight position that was made a priority at the beginning of the season.

The Team of Choice hosts AmaZulu at the Harry Gwala stadium tonight and enter the match five points behind their KwaZulu-Natal rivals with only three fixtures remaining in this PSL season.

The last time the sides met was in December where United squandered numerous chances and stuttered their way to a 0-0 draw in Durban, but assistant coach Fadlu Davids believes tonight’s match will produce goals.

“Both sides desperately want the three points; them to consolidate their position in the top eight and us to break into the top eight,” the former United striker told T he Witness yesterday.

“It is also a KZN derby and we both want to be the best team in the province, there is a lot of pride at stake.”

The Durban side have an impressive defensive record this season and have only conceded 21 times compared to United’s 35.

But it is up front where AmaZulu have had their problems, scoring 29 goals to United’s 21.

As poor as AmaZulu’s attacking record is, only bottom side Jomo Cosmos have scored less goals than United, which is precisely why the return to tonight’s squad of Zimbabwean striker Cuthbert Malajila will be welcomed by Davids and coach Ernst Middendorp.

Malajila, suspended in United’s 4-1 defeat to Free State Stars at the weekend, scored the winners against Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs in his side’s two previous outings.

His return to the side provides a glimmer of hope that United will be able to break down one of the league’s most resilient defences tonight.

With defenders Peter Petersen and Byrone Hendricks also back from suspension for tonight, United will have everybody available.

“It is great to have these guys back,” said Davids.

“There is competition for places, but when you have guys playing well and competing for places it is a good type of headache to have.”

Malajila is expected to replace the out-of-form Diyo Sibisi up front, but Davids said yesterday that the pair can play together.

“They complement each other well,” said Davids. “They can definitely play together.”

It will be the first time that United are at Harry Gwala since their 1-1 draw with Santos on April 8.

Tonight’s match kicks off at

7.30 pm and will not be televised.


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