The Team of Choice had gone into the match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium having claimed just a point from their two league games the previous week and needing a morale-boosting performance ahead of the upcoming Nedbank Cup semi-final with Mamelodi Sundowns at the Harry Gwala Stadium this coming Sunday.
And that’s exactly what they got as two brilliantly-taken goals from local boys Bandile Shandu and Man-of-the-Match Siphesihle Ndlovu helped inspire United to victory in what is always a difficult away fixture up in the Limpopo Province.
They did not however have things all their own way against a feisty Baroka side, and it took some outstanding defending and some brave goalkeeping from Richard Ofori to ensure not only the points, but a clean sheet as well as Maritzburg recorded their 11th league win of what has been a superb season.
“I think that should be hopefully enough to secure the top eight, with 42 points. A really structured performance from players, absolutely fantastic,” coach Fadlu said after the match.
“It’s difficult to come here and get anything out of the game. But they really managed to stick to the plan, and to keep their thinking in the game, because there can be moments where you just lose concentration and [the opposition] can punish you. So a really solid, well balanced performance from the players.”
The win means the Team of Choice remain in third spot, above Kaizer Chiefs on goal difference after Amakhosi had beaten Platinum Stars on Sunday as well.
“It was all about getting the points, so we can cement our position,” said Ndlovu, who sealed the game just after half time with a strike of the highest order, “we need to keep going until we make it to CAF competition,” he said.
The week ahead will now all be about preparing for the eagerly anticipated home Nedbank Cup semi-final game against an on-form Masandawana side.
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