PIETERMARITZBURG – Cape Town City will be out to extend their unbeaten run to four matches in the Absa Premiership when they play host to Maritzburg United at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu on Tuesday (start 7:30 pm).
The Citizens return to the KwaZulu-Natal province following a 2-2 draw against Golden Arrows last time out, with goals from Ayanda Patosi and Thabo Nodada securing a share of the spoils for the West Cape outfit.
Benni McCarthy’s troops have been forced to move their home fixture to an alternative venue due to the unavailability of a suitable venue within the ‘Mother City’ - a pressing issue that has gained widespread media coverage.
As a result, Maritzburg will be ‘visitors’ in their own province with the Team of Choice hopeful that this will stand them in good stead as they eye a change in fortunes.
The KZN outfit have gone eight league matches without a win after they were held to a 0-0 home draw by Bidvest Wits. Maritzburg have managed just five goals in 10 matches and last hit the back of the net in a 1-1 draw with AmaZulu in mid-September.
Fadlu Davids, who has watched his side struggle since a rip-roaring start to the campaign, will be looking to lead his men to a second away win of the season with Maritzburg having claimed six points from five matches on their travels.
The Citizens won the corresponding fixture last season 3-2, while the reverse fixture at the Harry Gwala Stadium ended in a 1-0 triumph for the Team of Choice.
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy said he was "sad" about playing a home game outside the Mother City.
“It is with great sadness to my players‚ this club‚ our fans‚ and all the football loving people of Cape Town that our home match versus Maritzburg United will be played away from home‚ in Durban,” said McCarthy in a scathing assessment of the lack of venues in Cape Town. To play that crucial game in the oppositions province is quite frankly hurtful and embarrassing.
He added: “My boys showed some fighting spirit as we came back to draw against Golden Arrows [last time out]. It looked like it was lost and we were out. We were three points down, and I’m happy with the fact that the boys were able to come back. It was a good fighting spirit.”
Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids was concerned about the lack of goals by his team.
“We can’t rely on Evans Rusike for all our goals,” said Davids who’s troops haven’t scored a goal in 11 hours of Premiership football. We take credit as a team for having the best defensive record in the league, and we have to take not-scoring-goals also as a team – not only the strikers.
“We have to talk about our attacking guys, our midfielders, even defenders at set pieces. As a team, we must take responsibility and we won’t put it on our striker’s shoulders.
“Each and every player must go onto the field say ‘I’m scoring today, or at least I’m assisting today’. With that mindset, goal orientated, you [we] can get the end result [in our next game].”