Maritzburg United's Fadlu Davids explains curious Keletso Makgalwa substitution in AmaZulu clash


Makgalwa, who joined United on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns as part of the deal that saw Lebohang Maboe go in the opposite direction, was running hard at AmaZulu's players on the left-hand side in the first half before coming inside to try and get shots off at King Zwelithini Stadium on Tuesday.

The youngster, who was at the FIFA U-20 World Cup last year with Thabo Senong's Amajita, almost provided an assist in the 14th minute when he shimmied past a pack of Usuthu markers and flicked the ball to Ivorian striker Yannick Zakri, whose attempt was then cleared off the line.

Although Makgalwa received some rough tackles, Davids surprisingly replaced him with Swaziland winger Justice Figuareido just before the second half started.

Davids feels Figuareido's performance justified his introduction in Umlazi, while he also had one eye on Friday's visit of Cape Town City to Harry Gwala Stadium.

"It was just a tactical change, putting the left-footer [Deolin Mekoa] on the left, putting the right-footer on the right," Davids explained after the stalemate.

"I think Justice Figuareido justified the substitution. He was the one who was giving them the most problems on the right hand side. We also had to look at two days from now. Friday we have another game, so ja ...

"Andrea Fileccia might have played but he'll be available. So you know you have to use the squad [wisely] especially when you are playing two games so close, and [against] two really tough teams."

Davids was satisfied with the result away from home but feels his team, in 13th place on the log with six points from six games, should do better in the final third.

"It's not the start we wanted, we wanted to have a good start in the match. It wasn't really down to us, but AmaZulu's preparation, how they really started the game.

"Really with hunger, with the desire, with a fantastic tactical plan to stop our build-ups. Despite that we created chances. Zakri with his one-on-one, which was cleared off the line in the first half.

"But I was really proud of how we took control of the game in the second half when we just changed the structure. We really took control in the first 20 minute in the second half.

"They still created chances. I said it before, AmaZulu are a well-organised team, a well-structured team. You can see it is the second year of them with the coach [Cavin Johnson].

"We knew it was going to be tough coming here so I think a point for either team [was fair, although] we could've grabbed three points. We could say in the second half we should've scored in the last moment of the match.

"Perhaps they should've scored. So a fair result, a point away from home and a positive thing is the four clean sheets in a row.

"But we have to work on our attacking. We have to get more fluid, we have to get better in the upfront movements, in our final pass, making better decisions in the final third.

"But it's a work in progress, and we'll take the point and prepare again on Friday."