A late injury time header by Mario Booysen ensured that the Team of Choice registered their first point of the season after David Radebe had put the PSL rookies ahead.
Leaving Pretoria empty handed would certainly have been harsh on United, who arguably had the better of play and certainly had more chances on goal.
The match was played on a very bumpy pitch, which saw several passes going astray early on. And to compound matters, the Tuks players seemed intent on leaving a mark on the Maritzburg players, putting in a string of overly robust challenges and numerous fouls.
“It as a match with a lot of one against one situations, especially in the beginning of the season it is like this (a physical and disjointed game).
“I think this should not happen. Another issue is the build up – we have to work on this. But going home with one point, we are ok with it.”
“I’m happy with the 1-1 in the end, coming back from zero one with the goal we scored in extra time – I think its ok,” said Middendorp.
The introduction of Orlando Smeekes saw the KZN side upping the ante in the final 15 minutes and putting their opponents under severe pressure.
As Middendorp points out, its early days yet, and with a new-look squad, there will still be plenty of tweaking in the weeks ahead.
“When you prepare for a game like this – the question is whether to go with the second striker or with the shadow striker as we did with Yende. When we were one nil down we made the changes, and I think it worked.
“We have six new players on the field – if you go to the defence line, three players are new. Especially the goal we conceded, that was of one of three really uncertain moments we had in our defence, and we conceded this goal.