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Maritzburg v SuperSport

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Maritzburg: Looking for TKO glory

Maritzburg: Looking for TKO glory

In-form Maritzburg United take on draw kings SuperSport United in a Telkom Knockout last-eight clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.

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The Team of Choice are an increasingly difficult side to beat under German coach Ernst Middendorp, having seemingly developed a steely edge to their make-up.

The KZN outfit have only lost one of nine matches in both league and cup, beating Moroka Swallows in a penalty shoot-out in the first round of the TKO.

In Zimbabwean striking duo Cuthbert Malajila and Terrance Mandaza, Maritzburg have two players who seem likely to provide a fair number of goals, but its in defence where their strength appears to lie.

Defender Mario Booysen says, however, that the team are going to be fully tested by Matsatsantsa on Friday.

"Its going to be a tough game, SuperSport are a really good team," the big defender told the club's official website.

"They have the same quality as Kaizer Chiefs. They are through to the next round, so they obviously have ambitions to do well in the Cup, just like we do.

"They have a lot of quality right through the squad. There are many dangerous players in SuperSport's team. I don't like to single out individuals, but guys like Kermit Erasmus, Mabuthi Khenyeza and Sameehg Doutie can be really dangerous.

"To get a result we are going to have to be really focussed and at our best on Friday night."

SuperSport have in the past recorded a couple of heavy victories over Maritzburg, but coach Gavin Hunt is expecting a much tougher challenge this time around.

"They are a physically strong side, so we know what we are going to come up against, I don't think it's anything new," Hunt said.

"We have to be on our guard against a team like that. Certainly they are a much better attacking side this year than they have been the last few seasons.

"They have a few better players that's for sure, so it's dangerous for us."

Hunt says he is not too phased that his charges are not converting enough draws into wins, insisting the important thing is for them to keep on playing attacking football.

He added: "It doesn't matter if you win three or four penalty shootouts, as long as we win the game, I don't really care how we win.

"That's not my concern. My concern is creating chances, making sure that we play positively and make sure we try and win our matches.

"We try and be positive and we'll try and open teams up."

SuperSport will be without Mor Diouf and Franklin Cale, who were sent-off in a league match against Wits.

Maritzburg should have a fully fit squad, with Mthokizisi Yende back from suspension.

Posted: 01/11/12 12:59

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