Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler hailed the guts and bravery showed by his team after they edged to a vital 1-0 Absa Premiership win over Baroka FC at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night.
Victory was their second in a row after they overcame Chippa United on Friday, with the six points collected this past week lifting them from second bottom up to 11th on the table.
The back-to-back wins were also their first of the season and coach Tinkler commended his players for the way they battled against Bakgaga.
Maritzburg were outshone and outplayed in the first half of the game as the visitors did everything but put the ball in the back of the net.
Things turned for the hosts after the break, with Mxolisi Kunene’s opportunistic run down the left and eventual scrappy shot evading last-ditch attempts to clear the ball on the line – the goal awarded by the linesman, who deemed the ball to have crossed the line after 51 minutes.
That was all United needed to send their fans into delirium and secure a battling win. Tinkler conceded they were lucky.
On the opposite end, Baroka coach Wedson Nyirenda was left frustrated after the final whistle, conceding his side deserved far more from their trip to Pietermaritzburg.
The Limpopo side, who were beaten by a dubious linesman decision at Kaizer Chiefs a few days before, were sprightly throughout the 90 minutes, and even when they fell behind, the visitors looked like they could find an equaliser at any time.
However, they were let down in the final third and Nyirenda admitted that finishing has been their Achilles heel in 2019/20.
Nonetheless, the Zimbabwean coach admitted he could not fault his players for effort. They should good enthusiasm throughout and only lost to that single goal, although the result did see them slip behind the Team of Choice on goal difference on the table.
Baroka dropped from 11th to 12th and are a goal worse off compared to last night’s opponents, with both sides locked on eight points. Nyirenda said he was proud of his team. – Report by Thahir Asmal
Mxolisi Kunene #BlueArmy, this one’s for you #WeAreUnited pic.twitter.com/EDn033RUvO
— Maritzburg United FC (@MaritzburgUtd) October 2, 2019
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