Usuthu look for the back of the net

2014-08-13 00:00


AMAZULU travel to the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto tonight with one thing on their minds: finding the back of the net.

They take on Moroka Swallows, who shocked Orlando Pirates on the weekend’s opening round of PSL fixtures with a 2-1 win at Orlando Stadium.

Usuthu opened their season with a goalless draw at home to Ajax Cape Town that was both disappointing and encouraging. The encouragement came in Usuthu’s dominance of a match in which they stayed compact; held on to the ball; moved it around and created a couple of good scoring chances. The disappointment, naturally, came in their inability to finish off those chances and claim three log points.

Philani Shange was the brightest light for AmaZulu on the day, making his debut for coach Craig Rosslee’s side after joining from relegated Golden Arrows in the off-season. Playing on the right of midfield, Shange was at the heart of many of Usuthu’s forward movements, though he still expects more of himself going into tonight’s game.

“I was happy with my performance, but I knew I was not at my best,” Shange told The Witness yesterday. “The coach was happy with me, but I know that I can do better and that is what I must concentrate on now.”

It is early days yet, but Shange acknowledged that goal scoring was the test for Usuthu right now and that they had been working hard in training to get it right.

“If you look at the Ajax game, we did create a number of chances,” he said. “We didn’t take them and we have to work harder at becoming more clinical in front of goal.”

Swallows are flying high following their win over Pirates, where Lerato Chabangu’s late goal sealed the win for coach Zeca Marques. With momentum clearly favouring the home side tonight, Shange encouraged his team-mates to approach the clash with a free mind.

“Th­is is football and anything can happen,” he said. “We need to go into the game with a positive attitude. If we do that then we can make something happen.”

Rosslee will be tempted to play Shange again, while Nkosinathi Mthiyane is out for four to six weeks after he picked up a broken arm against Ajax.

AmaZulu also have all of their foreign signings out for tonight’s clash as they await their work permits.

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