Moroka Swallows outplayed Maritzburg United in a Nedbank Cup match on Friday night and their coach Gordon Igesund was delighted with the result, although he says he expected victory but not the 3-0 scoreline.
“We came here to win, I expected it. But I did not think we would win by this margin. It was an excellent team performance and I am happy with all of them,” he said. All the goals came in the second half, two from the boot of Mfundo Shumana and a penalty conversion by Sicelo Zuma at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
It was an all-new Birds outfit that started the match while the hosts played a full-strength team. Roger Da Costa captained the Birds and partnered Ashraf Hendricks in defence. Shumano started in midfield and while striker Zuma netted from the spot. Goalkeeper Sage Lottering got the man-of-the-match award for a solid performance on his debut.
“It’s nice that he got this on debut, he had a good game. But the defence overall was excellent. They kept their shape and did the basics right. The midfield moved well off the ball and connected with each other. I think we were strong in every department.”
Left-back Keegan Ritchie was sent off for a second bookable offence late in the second half and although Maritzburg pressed to get a goal, Swallows were tactically sound and Maritzburg hardly threatened to score.
“The players knew what to do in this situation and it was a good test for them. Not much changed after he was sent off, the guys stuck to the basics and I don’t think there was a threat of a comeback. Time was not on their side and we were doing a good job.”
“The players were hungry to play and it showed. They are all part of a competitive squad and have to fight for a place in the starting 11 and they all showed what they capable of. It’s good for the players, the morale of the club and we’ll take it game by game.”
“And this win was against a strong Maritzburg outfit so we really happy about that.”
The draw for the Nedbank Cup last-16 stage takes place on Monday at Melrose Arch.-PSL