Maritzburg look to bounce back from defeat

Maritzburg look to bounce back from defeat
Deolin Mekoa of Maritzburg Utd during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Maritzburg United and Kaizer Chiefs at Harry Gwala Stadium, Pietermaritzburg on 20 September 2017 © BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 09:25

Maritzburg United will look to bounce back from their first Absa Premiership defeat of the season when they host Free State Stars at Harry Gwala Stadium on 29 September 2017, kick-off at 20h00.

Maritzburg’s first league loss was a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Kaizer Chiefs last midweek - though it says something for their performance in the game that Amakhosi goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was the Man of the Match.

The Team of Choice have picked up four points from three home matches so far in this campaign and coach Fadlu Davids will want his charges to add to that tally before they break for the impending international window.

Stars claimed their first league win of the 2017/18 season when they defeated Polokwane City 3-2 away from home on September 19. It was a nervy match for the Free State side, who raced into a three-goal lead but conceded twice in the second half as they almost threw away a full haul of points.

Nonetheless, Ea Lla Koto will be delighted to have broken their drought after going winless in their first four matches. The goal now for coach Luc Eymael will be to build on the victory and see his side gain further confidence and momentum.

In head-to-head stats, Maritzburg and Stars have met in 20 league matches since 2005/06. Ea Lla Koto have claimed seven wins compared to three for the Team of Choice, while a full 10 matches have been drawn. The KwaZulu-Natal side has won just two of their 10 home league matches against Stars, suffering three defeats in the process.

Last season Maritzburg took four points off Stars, drawing 1-1 in the teams’ match in the Free State before claiming a 2-1 victory on home soil in the return game. The Team of Choice have won two of their last four home matches against United after failing to win any of the first six.

Maritzburg’s line-up from their 2-0 loss to Chiefs on September 20: Ofori, Xulu, Fransman, Sanoka (Makaringe 46'), Weidlich (Mokate 79'), Shandu, Mekoa , Maboe, Atouba, Fillecia (Van Wyk 78'), Rusike.

Stars’ line-up from their 3-2 win over Polokwane on September 19: Sangare, Masehe, Mobbie, Keita, Phungwayo, Mbhele, Vilakazi, Potsane (Mashego 60'), Manqele (Abbubakar 41'), Anas (73'), Jantjie.

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