Winless run continues for Maritzburg United after SuperSport United loss
DURBAN - A brace from Bradley Grobler consigned Maritzburg United to their fifth consecutive DSTV Premiership defeat and sixth in all competitions as the Team of Choice went down 2-1 against SuperSport United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.
The result marked the first time that the Team of Choice have lost on a Friday night in more than three years. It also means that Ernst Middendorp has started his fourth stint as coach of the club with a loss.
The game did have its moments of controversy and the one thing that Middendorp can take confidence from is the fact that his side was competitive throughout the game.
Team of Choice assistant coach Delron Buckley alluded to this after the game.
“Our performance was good and intensive. We tried to break them down in midfield. We caused two mistakes and they scored. At the end of the day, if you don’t score, you won’t win,” said Buckley.
Maritzburg took the lead in the second minute of the game after poor communication between SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams and left-back Onismor Bhasera led to the former scoring an own goal.
Williams initially made a good save following Thabiso Kutumela’s shot, but parried the ball onto Bhasera. The ball subsequently ricocheted off the Zimbabwean, bumping into Williams and going into the net.
After missing a sitter in the third minute, Grobler went on to equalize in the 14th minute for SuperSport after he was found with a clever pass from Evans Rusike. The veteran striker did show good composure in front of goal and made no mistake in converting.
Maritzburg’s left-back Dan Morgan was their best player on the night as he transitioned well between attack and defence. The New Zealander prevented his side from conceding in the 19th minute as he cleared a Ghampani Lungu shot off the line after the Zambian rounded goalkeeper Sebastian Mwange.
Substitute Judas Moseamedi injected energy into Maritzburg’s attack after being introduced in the second half. He did put the ball into the back of the net in the 62nd minute but it was ruled out for offside.
Grobler put SuperSport ahead a minute later after chipping in a cross from Lungu. Replays have shown that the striker was slightly offside when he scored the goal.
Addressing decisions going against his side on the night, Buckley said, “I think we should have got a penalty and there could have been a few red-cards in the game. We just have to keep going. Coach Middendorp will have a whole week to prepare ahead of the next game against Sundowns. We are playing good football and our implementations in training are working. We just have to keep the players motivated and work on our tactics. We need a win and hopefully that will change everything,”.
Even though SuperSport won, the score could have been bigger and Grobler could have notched a hat-trick had he taken better advantage of the chances he had in the first half.
“It was a difficult game but we made it difficult for ourselves. We had opportunities in the first three minutes. We should have put this game to bed in the first half. We lacked composure in the box with the final ball but will get better. Grobler had opportunities and I’m happy for him,” said SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo.
Maritzburg United are next in action next week Saturday against Mamelodi Sundowns at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.