If the defeat to Orlando Pirates through an apparent offside goal was painful for Highlands Park, then they are in for more misery when they meet Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday evening as they kick off the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals.
The Lions of the North were left fuming and devastated when their hard work came to naught as Orlando Pirates were allowed an illegitimate goal to beat them 1-0 in a league match on Tuesday night.
But the Team of Choice will have no mercy as they look to extend their impressive run of late, especially at home on Friday nights.
“Playing in front of our supporters gives the layers that added motivation and confidence,” said Maritzburg coach Eric Tinkler this week.
The large crowds that the team attracts on Friday nights have helped the team to a good home record.
“We go into the game with that at the back of our minds – that we have had very good results at home of Friday nights. But that’s a mental thing and now we have to go into the field and show the physical and technical side of it in order to take advantage of it,” he added.
But he understands that motivation and confidence alone will not be enough to overcome Owen Da Gama’s hard running side.
“We are all well aware that it is going to be a really tough game,” he admitted. “They are tough and competitive and a very aggressive team. We have to match them in those aspects.
“But we will need a little more than that (to overcome them). We can’t just match them in terms of work rate, work ethic and aggression. We also have to show technical improvisation and we need to look to create more opportunities than have been in the past few games.
“They are having a great season and went to the final in the MTN8 which will make them even hungrier for this one,” said the former Pirates mentor.