Johannesburg - Log leaders Kaizer Chiefs will be looking to create some more distance between them and chasers Orlando Pirates in the race for the league title when they host Maritzburg United in an Absa Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday night, kick-off at 19:30.
Chiefs took a major stride to winning the championship this past weekend when they capitalised on Pirates draw with the University of Pretoria on Saturday night to beat Bloemfontein Celtic 3-0 in their backyard and effectively open a seven point gap over their rivals.
The Glamour Boys are currently placed at the top of the Absa Premiership table on 50 points from their 23 games. A win against ‘The Team of Choice’ will certainly edge them closer to their first league title in eight years.
Chiefs’ midfielder Lucky Baloyi is dismissing the notion of completely shutting down the door for their rivals in the title race as early as the end of this week
“We are taking it one game at a time. We are not thinking of the league title as of yet because we might get ahead of ourselves and lose focus and end up with nothing,” said Baloyi.
“This match is so important because we want to ride on the momentum of this past weekend’s win in Bloemfontein.
“Maritzburg are a dangerous team and they can spoil the party for us, they have already broken our hearts before this season and we want to avoid a repeat of something similar.”
The result that Baloyi is alluding to is the 1-1 draw earlier this season when United equalised with the last kick of the game in the 97th minute to break the hearts of the Amakhosi faithful.
Maritzburg have been on a steady decline in 2013.
After going through most of the first half of the season occupying a place in the top five, the side from Kwa-Zulu Natal are now placed in seventh place on the Absa Premiership log. They have so far accumulated 31 points from their 22 league games.
United keeper Shu-Aib Walters says that their late victory against Chippa United this past Sunday at home has given them the impetus to approach the match against Chiefs with confidence.
“This win this past weekend was very important. It has given us the opportunity to build on momentum because it was our last league home match in a while since we are going to be on the road for our next two encounters,” explained the former Bafana Bafana keeper.
“We are motivated and looking forward to facing Chiefs. The pressure is more on them because they are chasing the league title and will also be worried about what Pirates is doing in their other match.
“We just need to put them under pressure; it has worked for us before.”