United’s players looked brave, focused, did not suffer stage fright in front of the intimidating Celtic’s fans and played with purpose from the outset. During the game, however, many thought the visitors were going to bow to the pressure applied by the host team.
Overall it was the hosts who had the better chances on the day, but some wasteful finishing left them pointless after Pogiso Sanoka struck for the Pietermaritzburg side 17 minutes before the final whistle.
United’s head coach Ernst Middendorp after the game said it was not a fantastic game but was happy just to register a win. The German tactician said one victory meant something but a lot more hard work was needed. Middendorp said the only tool that would save or change the current situation in the camp would be to double the efforts in all departments in the field of play.
“We still have a long way to go. To register our first win against Celtic may mean that we are heading to the right direction. I mean we all know that it will take a lot of hard work and need to win to collect more points in ordet to move away from the relegation zone.”
United’s communications manager Brian Zuma said collecting maximum points meant that they finally turned the corner.
“We were desperate to win a game in order to be motivated for the rest of the season. Our first win meant a lot to everybody and currently the mood is totally different,”said Zuma.
United’s next league fixture will be on March 11, 8pm at Harry Gwala Stadium against another KwaZulu Natal neighbour, Lamontville Golden Arrows.
Meanwhile United will also play against the National First Division side Black Leopards in the Nedbank Cup on March 2, 7.30pm at home.
Although the local outfit might wish to make a bit of history in the Cup competitions, it is likely that league survival or campaign will be a priority.