Maritzburg now in eighth place ahead of Sundowns challenge

2017-12-12 11:15
Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids.

Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids. (File)

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Following many weeks of odd results and drab football, the Absa Premiership log table makes for more stable reading with the country’s big three now leading the pack as the Christmas break draws nearer.

Former African champions Mamelodi Sundowns lead the race by two points from Orlando Pirates, and the other Soweto giants, Kaizer Chiefs, are a point behind the Buccaneers before a mid-week round of games.

Maritzburg United fans will also be pleased to see their heroes sitting in eighth place after a tough start to the campaign.

Coach Fadlu Davids’ men have done well to score seven goals in their last two league matches, four against Cape Town City in Durban and three against Baroka FC at Harry Gwala Stadium recently. The Team of Choice’s spearhead in attack, Zim­babwean Evans Rusike, will be particularly pleased at having ended his personal goal drought recently.

However, Davids’ young side face a massive challenge on Wednesday night when they face Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday night.

Another game on Wednesday sees Free State Stars host SuperSport United at Goble Park. 

At the bottom end of the standings, Bidvest Wits are experiencing a torrid season after their title-winning campaign last term, having only picked up 11 points from 13 matches — half the total of their usual title rivals Sundowns.

Meanwhile, Chippa United coach Tebogo Moloi and Mamelodi Sundowns skipper Hlompo Kekana were on Monday named as the Absa Premiership Coach and Player of the Month for November.

The Soweto-born Moloi made his debut on the podium at the Premier Soccer League offices in Johannesburg to receive his recognition prize in the Absa Premiership monthly awards. 

In reaching the decision to award the former Orlando Pirates player Moloi, the judges said they were impressed with how he turned Chippa United around without making a radical change in their style of play. He was particularly commended in the manner he has taken a team with high possession and added an offensive dimension.

During the block of fixtures played from November 1 to 30, Moloi’s outfit picked up five points in the club’s three games.
Moloi guided his side to an impressive away win at champions Bidvest Wits followed by two draws with Free States Stars and Sundowns, only conceding once in those games last month.

Kekana, no stranger to the awards, won the individual player’s award for the first time in the 2017/18 Absa Premiership season.
He emerged the winner in the Player of the Month category as he was seen to have been the key man in stabilising a Sundowns side that has been going through some challenges since the start of the campaign.

Hlompho also continued to score crucial goals (two in November), while he also stood out for his impressive defensive work rate, leadership qualities and fighting spirit.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  maritzburg united

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