United tread carefully

2019-05-22 06:02

THE PSL promotion/relegation play-offs come to life today and Maritzburg United are extremely aware that their two First Division opponents, Royal Eagles and Tshakhuma, are not to be taken lightly in terms of how past play-offs have gone.

This means United’s technical staff will be in the stands for the first game of the six-match, round-robin series between Eagles and Tshakhuma at Chatsworth Stadium in Durban this afternoon.

The game will be followed by Maritzburg versus Eagles at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday.

All the matches will have a 3 pm kick-off as the teams face each other at home and away.

Said United boss Farook Kadodia yesterday: “It’s important for our technical team to attend the match in Durban and have a good look at both teams, considering we play Tshakhuma straight after our first game against Eagles.”

He added that his team, who finished second-last in the Absa Premiership last weekend, were holding thumbs that their fans would continue to show strong support for them during the play-offs because this would be helpful against their pumped-up rivals from the lower league.

Kadodia also confirmed that they would have to be selfish and not allow any of their players to feature for Bafana Bafana in the upcoming Cosafa Cup if picked. He said they would actually be entitled to hold onto their players because the Cosafa Cup was not a Fifa-sanctioned event.

On the manpower front, all of United’s key performers, except skipper Brian Onyango, are fully fit at present and there are no new suspensions for them to worry about in the build-up to Sunday’s KwaZulu-Natal derby with Eagles, who have a training base in Maritzburg but play their games at their original home in Durban.

In terms of the play-offs rules, there is a waiver of the Under-23 stipulation that normally applies in the First Division and clubs may use five foreigners in matches.

The play-offs run until June 1 and the Premier Soccer League have also confirmed that tickets for all the matches will be sold at TicketPro outlets countrywide at R40 for adults and R15 for children.

The matches will be screened on SuperSport and SABC.

• sports@witness.co.za

PLAY-OFF FIXTURES

Today

Eagles vs Tshakhuma — Chatsworth, 3 pm

Sunday, May 19

Maritzburg v Eagles — Harry Gwala, 3 pm

Wednesday, May 22

Tshakhuma v Maritzburg — Thohoyandou, 3 pm

Saturday, May 25

Tshakhuma v Eagles — Thohoyandou, 3 pm

Wednesday, May 29

Eagles vs Maritzburg — Chatsworth, 3 pm

Saturday, June 1

Maritzburg v Tshakhuma — Harry Gwala, 3 pm

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