United must deliver

2013-11-27 00:00

IT’s going to be a David-and-Goliath clash when Maritzburg United host Orlando Pirates at Harry Gwala Stadium this evening.

With The Team of Choice being winless in three games, and the mighty Buccaneers sitting at the bottom of the table after only three league games, both teams will be desperate to walk away from tonight’s clash with the three points.

United will have their hands full against a Pirates side that has quality all over the park, and to win the game and the three points, they will have to play out of their skins and leave everything on the pitch after the 90 minutes.

Clinton Larsen’s lads have had a different look to them since the coach took over the side, and although results haven’t been good lately, they’re playing the kind of football that excites.

In the games that they have played under the new coach, they have created more chances, and have been missing a clinical finisher.

Mohammed Yakubu, who was brought in to replace the deadly Cuthbert Malajila, has only scored one goal this season, while Terrance Mandaza, although he has found himself in good positions on a number of occasions, has been largely wasteful and is yet to break his duck this season.

United’s deadliest players in front of goal this season have so far been Thokozani Sekotlong and Ayanda Mkhize with two apiece.

Sekotlong has been a regular feature in the side since his first goal against Moroka Swallows, while Mkhize put his hand up to start tonight’s game with a goal from his first touch, having just come on as a 69th minute substitute against Abafana Bes’thende in Umlazi on Sunday.

Former champions Pirates currently sit at the bottom of the table after having played only three games in the league.

With a record of one win, one draw and one defeat, they haven’t exactly set the league on fire, but to their defence, they have had their focus elsewhere.

They face United today desperate for a win, and with their coach under pressure from the club’s supporters who blame him for a lack of a second star.

A defeat for Pirates — with seven games in hand and four points behind AmaTuks in 14th — wouldn’t be as disastrous for them as it would be for United.

United have so far lost their first two games at home under Larsen, and another defeat could lead opposition teams to fancy their chances when they come to United’s fortress of Harry Gwala Stadium.

There are still 2 000 tickets available for tonight’s game, which kicks off at 7.30 pm, and will be televised on SuperSport 4.

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