Downs keep title hopes alive
Johannesburg - Maritzburg United will be out for revenge when they host Mamelodi Sundowns in an Absa Premiership clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday evening at 18:00.
The two sides met in the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup last Saturday with Sundowns emerging as 2-0 winners to move to the last four.
Revenge could be sweet for the Team of Choice as they have an opportunity to snatch maximum points, which would seriously dent the Brazilians’ chances of winning the league title.
However, goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters says for them it’s a matter of maintaining their unbeaten streak and ending the campaign on a high note.
“Obviously we were unhappy with losing to Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup; we felt that we gave away silly goals and we want to make up for it,” said Walters.
“We have learned from our mistakes and we’ve earning some valuable points in the league and for us it’s important to stay on that track.”
United are unbeaten in their last four league matches and are currently sitting in 11th place with 29 points.
Ernst Middendorp’s men pulled off an upset on Tuesday night when they defeated Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 and Walters’ says they want to themselves another favour by grabbing all three points on Saturday.
“We want to beat Sundowns because we have an opportunity to finish in a better position,” he said.
“We’re doing ourselves a favour and not thinking about any other team; at this stage of the season it’s every man for himself.
“Sundowns are a strong team and they will want to respond well after their loss but they’ll find us ready for the challenge.”
Mamelodi Sundowns’ title aspirations suffered a blow on Wednesday night when they succumbed to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Platinum Stars.
The Brazilians have now dropped to second place with 46 point, one point behind log leaders Orlando Pirates.
Johan Neesken’s men still have the biggest goals tally in the league due to their exploits during the first half of the season but since the break they have struggled with converting their chances.
The situation that has also been worsened by the unavailability of one of their star strikers Katlego Mphela due to injury, however, the likes of Nyasha Mushekwi, Elias Pelembe and captain Teko Modise are expected to step up their game in his absence.
When Sundowns faced United earlier this season a 1-0 win was enough to secure the three points with Pelembe finding the back of the net.