The Team of Choice played some excellent football in the first half at the Harry Gwala Stadium, but having failed to capitalise on
several great scoring chances, they only led 1-0 at the break, thanks to Thabiso Kutumela’s 43rd minute strike.
In the second half, Maritzburg had to guts it out as the Chilli Boys came back fighting for a share of the spoils, with some brave
defending from the hosts enabling them to claim the 1-0 win and register the first three-pointer of the new season.
“Very happy with the result, we needed it,” coach Eric said after the match.
“We had to play some ugly football in the second half, but like I said, the result was more important than anything else.
“First half we played very well, second half we didn’t play that well. Losing Phumlani Ntshangase (to injury) in the centre of
midfield was a massive loss. First half excellent, second half not great, but we take the three points.
“Today was important for us to get the result,” he continued, “but we’ve got another very important game on Wednesday (Baroka FC athome), so we shift our focus to that. We have just got to continue working the way we have been working - we are not going to change anything.”
There were a number of fine individual displays and indeed the Maritzburg tactician was pleased by the overall performance.
“I thought Daylon [Claasen] was superb, [Mxolisi] Kunene was superb, [Thabiso] Kutumela was superb… a lot of them, I thought
everybody. We showed bravery, we showed intent, we showed character. That was good for us tonight.
“I thought we dealt with most of the issues Chippa caused in the final 15 minutes. The work ethic was really good, the bravery very
good, people throwing themselves in front of balls, that was good to see, Siyanda [Xulu] had a phenomenal performance again, a lot of positives.”
The Team of Choice are back in action at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday 2nd October when they host Baroka FC.