DURBAN - The clash between Maritzburg United and Lamontville Golden Arrows promises to be a titanic showdown as both sides are chasing different objectives.
The duo will meet at Harry Gwala Stadium in Absa Premiership encounter on Saturday at 3pm in their last match of the current season. There’s a lot at stake between the two sides, hence the clash is expected to be a humdinger.
Arrows, currently seventh with 37 points after 29 rounds, are hoping to cement their place in the top 8 while United are still confident of booking a place in the Caf Confederation Cup next season by finishing third on the log.
The stage for the KwaZulu-Natal derby is set and people should expect fireworks when the two sides clash. Arrows boss Clinton Larsen wants his side to give it a full go on Saturday.
“It is an interesting encounter. They have been one of the in-form teams in the second half of the season alongside Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates and Free State Stars. Being constantly in the top eight on the log shows how good they have been, but our team is high on confidence, he said.
"We are playing good attacking football. We’ve won two games in a row. The team is scoring goals. We said it from the beginning of the season that our target was to finish in the Top 8. It is on our own hands. If we win and other results go our way, we can even finish as high as fifth on the table.
“We will give it a go. This is our last game of the season. We don’t have another game after this one. We can’t save our energy for anything else. It is not like United who have to be wary of injuries and suspensions ahead of the Nedbank Cup final. We will give it a full go. It is going to be a physical game but we are up for it. This is our last chance of getting points.”
Maritzburg hoping to honour teammates who passed away
United are fourth on the log, and are two points behind Kaizer Chiefs. They need a victory against Arrows and hope that Ajax Cape Town beat Chiefs or play out to a stalemate so that they can finish third.
Amakhosi are on 45 points after 29 matches while United are on 43 points after an identical number of matches. United have a superior goal difference of +13 compared to Chiefs’s +4.
The Team of Choice coach Fadlu Davids is well-aware of the danger that Abafana Bes’thende can be on Saturday: “They are an in-form team. We drew against Sundowns and lost against Chiefs.
"They are seventh on the log and it is going to be a though game. We want to finish the season on a strong note. We want to do it for Luyanda Ntshangase and Mlondi Dlamini in the last two games of the season,” Davids explained.
Ntshangase passed away on Friday, after a spell in an induced coma after was struck by the lightning during a training match in March. Ntshangase will be laid to rest on Thursday. Dlamini lost his life in a car accident at the start of the season.
“It is never easy to control emotions. It is not nice to be losing one of your own but we have the job to do,” Davids concluded.