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Absa Premiership: Maritzburg United 3 Free State Stars 2

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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 31: Ruben Cloete battles with Mpho Matsi for the ball during the Absa Premiership match between Maritzburg United and University of Pretoria from Harry Gwala Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Durban, South Africa
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 31: Ruben Cloete battles with Mpho Matsi for the ball during the Absa Premiership match between Maritzburg United and University of Pretoria from Harry Gwala Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Durban, South Africa

Maritzburg United moved further away from the relegation zone when they beat fellow relegation strugglers Free State Stars 3-2 in the Absa Premiership at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday night.

A brace from Rheece Evans and a spectacular free-kick by Bhongolwethu Jayiya put United in the driving seat midway through of the match before a late goal by Danny Venter and an own goal by former Free State Stars fullback Ruben Cloete almost set a dramatic end at Petermaritzburg.

The win takes the Team of Choice up to 23 points with ten matches to play, and they are now ten points clear from automatic relegation place, and seven points richer than Free State Stars, who remain in the 15th position which is a relegation playoff place.

Maritzburg United coach, Steve Komphela, who is formerly with Free State Stars, and also helped United to end a record of not getting win against Ea Lla Koto in eleven matches, says his side can target a top eight finish after their win against Stars.

“We really needed the points to move away from the relegation zone even though we are not completely safe,” said Komphela after the match. “We want to push up on the log and if we can collect points again in our next two or three matches then top-half finish will be possible.

His former assistant at Free State Stars, Thambe Sithole, who is now in charge at the Qwa-Qwa based side on temporary basis, says he was not disappointed by his men performance, and he hopes things will change for better and also adds that he does not see the struggling side go down.

“I am happy the way my players played tonight and we will continue to fight going forward,” said the confident interim coach after the match. “We will be ready for the next match, and we will work hard for the points.

“I don’t see this team going down to the National First Division,” he concluded.