Maritzburg looking to break home ground hoodoo against SuperSport
Maritzburg United should be relishing homeground advantage against SuperSport United in their MTN8 semifinal‚ second leg on Saturday but it has proven a curse for them against Matsatsantsa in the past.
This weekend’s clash follows a 1-1 draw in the first leg a fortnight ago and is the 14th time that Maritzburg will host SuperSport at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
Quite remarkably though‚ they are still looking for their first win.
The previous 13 games have resulted in eight wins for SuperSport and five draws with Maritzburg yet to break their duck with a victory.
SuperSport have won on their last five visits to KwaZulu-Natal against Maritzburg‚ with the last time their hosts managed to avoid defeat being a 0-0 league draw in October 2012.
Coach Fadlu Davids is under no illusions as to the task at hand.
"We have to be cautious‚" he told reporters this week.
"We have an away goal but if SuperSport scores‚ that really put us on the back foot. We know we can only draw 0-0‚ other than that we have to go out and win the game.
"We must respect SuperSport's quality‚ we know that are an extremely dangerous team while you are on the attack they can immediately score a goal‚ exactly like they did in the first leg.
"So we have to be aware of their strengths and approach the game in a very pragmatic way. We can't go all-out attack‚ open ourselves up. On the one hand you want to defend the 0-0‚ but if they score that all changes."
Maritzburg will again be without South Africa/Australian midfielder Liam Youlley while defender Brian Onyango picked up a hamstring injury on national team duty with Kenya and is doubtful.
He will be assessed as late as possible.
Better news is that Cameroon midfielder Yazid Atouba has received his work permit and is eligible to play if selected by Davids.