On-form Bhengu to trouble Leopards

2011-06-15 00:00

PHUMELELE “Ace” Bhengu’s move from Moroka Swallows to National First Division (NFD) side Bay United seems to have done him a world of good.

After bursting onto the local scene by grabbing a brace against Kaizer Chiefs two years ago, Bhengu’s star diminished as he suffered a goal drought, resulting in him being moved to defence.

The January transfer window presented the 19-year-old from Swayimane, just outside Pietermaritzburg, with a new lease of life. At Bay, Bhengu and the team share a goal: seeking a promotion to the elite league.

Bhengu, who is a key member for the SA Under-23 side aiming to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012, has made a meaningful contribution to the Port Elizabeth-based outfit’s automatic promotion as they finished the Coastal Stream on top, but lost to Jomo Cosmos, the Inland Stream winners. During the NFD promotional play-offs second leg final against Thanda Royal Zulu in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, Bhengu showed his prowess, firing Bay to a 4-1 win — capping his impressive display with a brace.

As they host Black Leopards in the first of two promotional play-offs tonight (Gelvendale Stadium, 7.30 pm kickoff), Bhengu will be looking to continue his fine form.

Should Bay fail to earn promotion, there’s no doubt that Bhengu will have done enough to prompt Swallows coach Gordon Igesund to recall him to beef up his team for next season’s campaign.

Bay coach Major David Bright believes they are better equipped this time around to post a win against tricky Leopards.

“I believe the boys will know what to expect this time around. The games against Cosmos have prepared …” said Bright.

Meanwhile, Leopards influential playmaker Robert Ng’ambi will miss tonight’s match owing to suspension, but sounded confident of his side stealing a win away from home.

“We have depth in this team and of course the team can play without me. It’s not like we are losing four or five players — just me …”

“They won their league and know what it takes to get up there. But we have experience also and will do our best to win. There are two games to go but we cannot sit back in either match, going for a win in each is important,” said Ng’ambi, who is moving to Santos next season.

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