COACH ERIC THANKS TECHNICAL TEAM, PLAYERS AND SUPPORTERS
29 February 2020
It all came together for Maritzburg United on Friday night at the Harry Gwala Stadium as they put in a polished display to record a 3-0 Absa Premiership over Stellenbosch FC.
The Team of Choice had drawn 0-0 in the league earlier in the season against the Cape outfit and recently played to a 2-2 draw in the Nedbank Cup (before winning on penalties).
This time though - against a Stellenbosch side which has been steadily been working their way up the table - there was a clear winner after a brace from Bongokuhle Hlongwane and a first goal for the club from Tebogo Tlolane secured maximum points.
Tlolane also created Hlongwane’s second goal and is pleased to be contributing to the cause.
“It was a good game,” Tlolane said. “The team played very well and it’s good to be back at home, you can see all the supporters here.
“The coach gives us freedom to play. And it’s what we practice at training - what you see on the pitch [in matches], is what we do at training. Its good to keep a clean sheet, to get three points, and to be on the score-sheet. It’s work in progress, and so far so good.”
Head coach Eric Tinkler meanwhile was pleased with the convincing nature of the victory, and also paid tribute to the ‘Blue Army’.
“I thought our first half performance was exceptional,” he said. “We should have come in at half time at 2-0 up.
“Richard [Ofori] has made two crucial saves that could potentially have brought Stellenbosch back into the game.
“But going forward, our transitions, our movement, our combination play - we looked a threat every time we went forward and could possibly have scored five or six.
“I’m very proud of the technical team, obviously very proud of the players. They showed the heart that we needed to bounce back from the loss in the Nedbank Cup.
“We wanted to keep a clean sheet at home, we wanted to keep our Friday night record, we’ve done that.
“The Maritzburg fans are the best fans in the league to be honest,” he continued. “Very proud of them, they’ve stuck with us through thick and thin last season they were here even when the team was struggling in [fighting] relegation.
“This season they’re here supporting the team wholeheartedly, and they are our 12th man and that’s what’s been important for us.”
Next up for the Team of Choice are Polokwane City; at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.
“We just take it game by game. It was important for us to hit the 30-point mark because we can play without pressure and without stress. We just take every game we play as an important game, irrespective of who the opponents are,” the Maritzburg coach concluded.