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Football | Absa Premiership

George Maluleka © Backpagepix

Stars one victory away from Q2 winners



SuperSport United will be out to dethrone Platinum Stars from the top of their Q2 log standing when they meet at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening for an Absa Premiership encounter, kick-off at 20h15 ( CAT, SA, GMT+2).

In an emphatic run of form, Cavin Johnson’s men have been the team of the second quarter of the season as they sit just one victory away from being named the Q2 winners - edging out Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

Although few may have predicted their impressive form, Stars’ comeback against Golden Arrows last weekend summed up the spirit of the squad who mean business, after coming back from 4-2 down to win 6-4.

“The comeback against Arrows was a strange game. I’d call it an emotional rollercoaster,” said club skipper Henrico Botes.

“We got complacent a bit and they (Arrows) found themselves back in the game. We were lucky to come back and score four goals, but it was an up and down game.

“Hopefully we can build on that win for our character.”

Despite having only lost once in their last six games, the Namibian international believes there is little to it but team work and is taking nothing for granted in the final two games of the year.

“I don’t think we have much of a winning formula as such, but it is down to a lot of hard work and a good spirit within the squad. We treat each game like it is a final for us and it works,” added Botes.

“Both of them (the last two games) are tough. SuperSport haven’t been winning as much and they have mostly been drawing but they are a quality team on paper.

“Swallows have been on a four-match losing streak and they will be looking to bounce back. Hopefully it will work out in our favour and give us that extra performance.

“It will be tough against Supersport, but the ball is in our court to win the Q2 table and we will hopefully get the points to show our gratitude (to the coach and fans).”

In comparison, the last six games for the Matsatsantsa have told a different story to their weekend adversaries - having won just once, drawn four and lost one.

The first victory of the round came against the struggling Moroka Swallows, in which George Maluleka admits it was not the most convincing of displays put out by the Pretoria club.

“It is always nice to win a game. We didn't play well against Moroka Swallows, on the day, but we managed to get three points away from home,” he says.

“It is a huge boost for us especially now that we facing Platinum stars in our next game.

“Platinum Stars are doing very well this season. They started off on a high and have also been maintaining their form, so it’s always going to be difficult to play against a team that is high in confidence.”

There are concerns that SuperSport’s win comes at the wrong time for them, given the fact that they face a lengthy lay-off from action until February 2013.

“I would say the AFCON break does come at the wrong time because if you have momentum, and then there is a break, we will have to come back and start from scratch as a team after it,” added Maluleka

SuperSport are likely to say goodbye to at least one player in the break, with Bevan Fransman having been called up to face Malawi in the international friendly.

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