Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeDStv PremiershipUsuthu Boss Still Miffed At How They Lost To Sundowns

Usuthu Boss Still Miffed At How They Lost To Sundowns

AmaZulu coach Pablo Franco Martin sounded like someone who is out for revenge against Mamelodi Sundowns, looking at how his side lost in the first round in December in Durban.  

Usuthu were denied a legitimate goal against Sundowns at King Zwelithini Stadium in December when Hendrick Ekstein appeared to be onside and tucked home what should have been the equaliser, but he was flagged offside.  

Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena was also involved in a spat with Usuthu technical staff on the day, but he sorted the matter with coach Martin at half-time as both were seen hugging afterwards.  

While the hatched appeared to have been ironed out, the performance of Usuthu and that of the referee are something Martin has not forgotten about.  

On the other hand, Mbongeni Gumede man-handled Themba Zwane inside the box and Brazilian forward Lucas Ribeiro Costa stepped up from the penalty spot to send Olwethu Mzimela the wrong way to score what turned out to be the winner after 21 minutes. 

Sundowns will host Usuthu in the second round at Loftus Versfeld Stadium later on Tuesday (19:30), looking to stretch their unbeaten start to the season to 16 matches.  

“Everyone is expecting us to lose that game,” said Martin. 

“But also everyone was expecting us to lose when we played here in the same venue [King Zwelithini Stadium] because of changed fixtures.

“We didn’t have time to rest, they came here with their best team, they beat us but only because the scoreboard said they beat us, but we scored a legitimate goal and there was a penalty for them, which was not fair. 

“It was things we couldn’t have control over. We could have won the game and would have been the first team to have beaten them so far this season in the league.”  

This game was played on 8 December after Usuthu had lost to TS Galaxy in the Carling Knockout semi-final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium four days before the match. 

Usuthu, who are seventh on the DStv Premiership table with 22 points after 17 matches, will have to be at their best to improve their away recofrd against Sundowns, as they won only once away from this campaign so far.

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Even that victory too, came in KwaZulu-Natal when they beat Golden Arrows at Mpumalanga Stadium in November, while they have no win so far outside the province.    

The last time AmaZulu beat Sundowns away was in January 2019, when Tebogo Langerman scored in his own net and Ovidy Karuru smashed the second to win 2-0 at Loftus Stadium.     

“We are going to be given a tough time and we have to try to be at our best,” added Martin. 

“We know our qualities, we know we are playing away, we know it is going to be difficult, we know things we cannot control are going to happen in the match.

“From there, we have hopes and ideas to play our best football and to get something.”   

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.