DURBAN - Maritzburg United goalkeeper Richard Ofori has been one of the colossal figures for the Team of Choice this season.
As the old saying goes, numbers don’t lie and in Ofori’s case they scream the truth of his influence in United’s lofty third position on the league table - 12 clean sheets in 24 matches.
It is no doubt due to this that the KZN side boast the joint best defensive record (18 goals conceded in 27 matches) with Kaizer Chiefs in the league.
Surely Ofori should be a nominee for goalkeeper of the season alongside AmaKhosi’s Itumeleng Khune and Denis Onyango of Mamelodi Sundowns?
His brilliant season aside, Ofori remains humble: “It is the club first before the individual. We are doing well as a team. We always strive to do well to honour the club. The technical staff and my teammates have been very supportive. They made it easy for me. We are more like brothers at the club.
“We have defended well as a team. My focus is not on personal accolades. I want to help the team do well in the league and in cup competitions,” Ofori said as he refused to take glory for his inspiring performances.
Ofori joined Maritzburg at the start of the season from Wa All Stars in Ghana. His brilliance will be needed to keep the likes of Percy Tau, Themba Zwane and Sibusiso Vilakazi at bay when his side tackles Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup semifinal at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday.
“We have to go out there and do what we do best. We have to hope for the best. We have already played Sundowns twice this season. We defeated them and they also defeated us. We have no fear to face them. If they attack we will defend.
“They are doing well and we are also doing well. Football is a very strange game, you can work hard and play well but lose. We will put our fate in God’s hands on the day. We won’t pay a lot of attention to Sundowns. We will focus on ourselves,” Ofori explained, doing his best not to give anything away.
Maritzburg knocked Sundowns out of the MTN 8 but then lost a home league game to the Brazilians.