Absa Premiership

Maritzburg look to upset Celtic

2014-03-19 14:16
Steve Komphela (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Maritzburg United will hope to become the second team to defeat Bloemfontein Celtic in 2014 when they meet at the Harry Gwala for an Absa Premiership match on Wednesday evening.

Kick-off is at 19:30.

The Siwelele continued with their impressive domestic run on Sunday afternoon when they played out to a 1-1 draw against SuperSport United on home soil.

Mame Niang put the hosts under pressure with his goal after just three minutes of play, but a strong display, stimulated by Celtic’s eagerness to remain unbeaten, saw them salvage a draw through Frank Mhango’s thunderbolt strike.

It was the second successive match where Ernst Middendorp’s men fought back to salvage a crucial point as they continue to remain one of the better sides in 2014, losing just once to Kaizer Chiefs.

“We go to Pietermaritzburg and play on Wednesday. We have to put it [hard work] in and we have to deal with it,” said the German tactician.

“We have a good direction with where we are going into this game and we want to pick up something. Then on Sunday, is the next game already but we should not complain.”

Celtic will have a whole extra day less to prepare for the encounter, but Middendorp has urged his boys to go into the game with full dedication.

“Maritzburg have been waiting since Friday evening. That means, again, a little bit of a disadvantage to us but we will prepare ourselves and that is the most important thing,” continued the coach.

“We are professional coaches and players- we should put everything, 24/7, into this direction and we will be happy. I think we have seen it from the physical side and pushing forward that we will do the right stuff.”

It will, however, be easier said than done for Phunya Sele Sele as they will have to head over to KwaZulu Natal where they will face Steve Komphela’s side.

The Team of Choice have shown some promise since Komphela’s arrival at the club and only recently saw a four match unbeaten run come to an end with a 3-1 defeat to AmaZulu.

Former Bloemfontein Celtic player Kurt Lentjies converted a penalty in that encounter and he admits he was unhappy in seeing his side drop points.

“We didn’t come to the party from the first minute, I don’t know what happened with the guys,” he said.

“But ok, AmaZulu brought us back down to earth, so we will just have to take out the drawing board and work, because we have another game on Wednesday against Bloemfontein Celtic.

“They started much better than us and got stronger. We ended off the first half well and went into the dressing room leading by one, but that wasn’t enough to encourage us.”

Lentjies admitted he was eager to shift his focus onto Celtic as soon as possible: “You win some and you lose some and now we just have to focus on the next game.”

Read more on:    bloemfontein celtic  |  psl  |  steve komphela  |  soccer

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