Emotions will run high

2014-02-08 00:00

AMAZULU, flying high and undefeated after three fixtures in 2014, face a tough test today when they visit an emotionally charged Moroka Swallows at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.

Swallows, and the rest of the footballing community, are still mourning the loss of their assistant coach Dennis Lota, who passed away on Tuesday evening following a brief illness.

The PSL had considered rescheduling today’s fixture, but the show must go on and Usuthu will move back up to second position on the PSL table with a victory and Mamelodi Sundowns visiting Orlando Pirates later tonight.

“I am expecting them [Swallows] to be extremely motivated on what will be an emotional day for them,” Usuthu coach Craig Rosslee said in the buildup to tonight’s match, which will be dedicated to the late Lota. “I played against him [Lota] and he was the nicest guy you will ever meet. You know that footballers like to bad-mouth each other, but I can honestly say that I have never heard a bad thing said about Dennis.”

Rosslee is able to welcome back his midfield playmaker Kulegani Madondo to the side for today’s clash while goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini has again been ruled out as he continues to recover from a concussion. That shouldn’t bother Rosslee too much, though, as the form of Philani Zikalala in between the sticks has been phenomenal in the last two matches.

“I’m really glad for him [Zikalala] because he puts in so much hard work at training,” said Rosslee. “He is playing really well and hopefully he keeps it up and I won’t have a reason to drop him when Kapini comes back.”

Usuthu have won their last two matches 1-0 courtesy of late goals, and against Ajax Cape Town on Tuesday night many thought that they were fortunate to come away with the points. But Rosslee sees it differently.

“I don’t think we have stolen anything. Against SuperSport we dominated the game and I thought the game against Ajax was very even,” he said. “At the end of the day, a win is a win, and it doesn’t matter how they come.”

Usuthu will likely apply the same approach today, though, and they will look to stay in the game for as long as possible by holding their defensive lines firm.

Carlington Nyadombo has been a towering presence in central defence, and he will captain the side in Kapini’s absence.

Today’s match kicks off at 3.30 pm and will be televised on SuperSport Four.

Yesterday’s result: Ajax Cape Town ?, Bidvest Wits ?

Today’s fixtures: 3.30 pm: Golden Arrows vs Polokwane City (SABC 1). 3.30 pm: Moroka Swallows vs AmaZulu (SuperSport 4). 8.15 pm: Orlando Pirates vs Mamelodi Sundowns (SuperSport 4, SABC 1)

Tomorrow’s fixtures: 3.30 pm: Platinum Stars vs Free State Stars (SuperSport 4). 3.30 pm: Bloemfontein Celtic vs University of Pretoria

(SABC 1).

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