United short of creativity with Stars

2012-04-30 00:00

AFTER successive PSL victories over Kaizer Chiefs and then Mamelodi Sundowns, Maritzburg United crashed back down to earth when they were battered 4-1 by Free State Stars at the Charles Mopeli Stadium in Phuthaditjhaba on Saturday.

With in-form Zimbabwean striker Cuthbert Malajila suspended for the match, United appeared to be short of creativity when moving forward.

But Kurt Lentjies was back from suspension, and the influential midfielder’s awareness put United ahead in the 32nd minute. Lentjies delivered a dangerous low cross into the Stars area from the right hand side of the field that Stars striker Katlego Mashego turned into his own net after tracking back to try and save his side from danger.

It might have been a different game had United managed to get to half-time with their lead intact, but with just six minutes remaining in the half, midfielder Mpho Makola scored the first of his two goals in scrappy fashion after a goal line scramble in which United failed to clear their lines.

With 20 minutes gone in the second period, United appeared to be replicating the defensive performances they put in against Chiefs and Sundowns. Soaking up much pressure from Stars, United’s shape remained compact.

That was until the 65th minute, when one attack too many saw Ayanda Gcaba steer the ball home after Bafana Bafana striker Edward Manqele had rattled the woodwork with a close range effort.

Makola’s second came in the 78th minute when United’s defence showed a rare lack of concentration as they allowed the Stars man what seemed like an age on the ball to shoot from outside of the box, and Walters was left with no chance.

Just as it appeared it couldn’t get worse for United, young Ryan de Jongh then he put the ball into his own net

More PSL action on page 19

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