Saturday's second leg MTN8 semi-final against SuperSport United will see Maritzburg United needing to tread a fine line between attack and defence.
The Team of Choice, bidding to reach a first ever Cup Final, head into the match at the Harry Gwala Stadium (20H15) with the slight advantage of an away goal after a 1-1 first leg draw in Pretoria two weeks back.
Our head coach Fadlu Davids is however very much aware of how slender that advantage is against cup specialists Matsatsantsa.
"We have to be cautious," he said. "Yes, we have an away goal, but if SuperSport scores, that really puts 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."
Coach Fadlu is also mindful of Matsatsantsa's counter-attacking prowess.
"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."
In this respect, the Team of Choice have conceded only one goal this season.
"It's important to have a good solid spine, a good solid defence, the stability to be able to attack from a solid defensive unit.
That's why we have such quality and depth and experience in the back-bone of our team," the coach said.
Three wins and a draw from their opening four matches this season has seen Maritzburg off to a flying start, which coach Fadlu has attributed to the ambition and effort shown by his charges.
"Our pre-season work has enabled us to play the kind of high intensity game we like to play," he explained. "I'm lucky enough to have a bunch of players who are determined and willing to put in the effort, both on their tactical knowledge and their fitness.
"Beginning of the season on camp in Potchestroom, we set our targets for the season. The players told me themselves they want to reach a cup final. That's what we are faced with now, it (reaching the final) would be a huge achievement for the club and for the players."
And of course there is the home ground factor to take into account, something coach Fadlu is very much aware of from his Maritzburg United playing days.
"The amount of support we get here is unbelievable, they are really behind us here at the Harry Gwala Stadium. It’s a different feel and a different energy to the game and the players feed off that.
"I remember when Maritzburg were promoted here at Harry Gwala. It was not only a full stadium, but a full stadium of blue, and we hope and expect to see the stadium filled with the blue of Maritzburg United as we try to make history."
Liam Youlley is still recovering and needs another two or three weeks of rehab. There was unfortunate news of Brian Onyango, getting a hamstring injury on duty with Kenya. He will go for a follow-up scan to determine how long he'll be out for, but is very unlikely to be ready for Saturday's game.
On new signing, Yazid Atouba, we are optimistic to have his work permit done soon and are hopeful he'll be available for Saturday. Neither team has any suspensions.
* Purchase your #MTN8 tickets from: @ticketprosa, #CNA, #Edgars #Jet & @postnet outlets! MTN subscribers will get 500MB of data at the Stadium *
Social Media Coverage
Don’t forget to also follow updates from the MTN8 semi-final second-leg against SuperSport United LIVE through our social media platforms, @MaritzburgUtd (Twitter) and Maritzburg Utd FC (Facebook).
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