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Football | Absa Premiership

Tough trip to Celtic for AmaZulu

AmaZulu will be in search of their first back-to-back wins of the season in the Absa Premiership when they travel to the Free State Stadium on Sunday afternoon to face Bloemfontein Celtic, kick-off at 3:30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).

Usuthu moved from the bottom of the log for the first time this season when they defeated the University of Pretoria 1-0 on a rainy Wednesday night in Durban.

Thamsanqa Teyise had the mammoth task of marking the tall Mame Niang, but he believes it was a team effort which enabled them to secure their second win of the campaign.

“It wasn’t easy at all but we were determined to win the game,” he said. “The conditions were not good, but there was nothing we could do about it, so we told ourselves that we have to keep things simple and put them under pressure.

“We created many chances but in the end we had to wait until the last few minutes to score, but what matters the most is that we got the three points.”

Usuthu have now moved up to 14th place on the table with eight points from nine matches and although they are yet to win away from home this season, Teyise believes they can start on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s not easy to win in Bloemfontein, but it’s also not impossible,” he said. “We’ll go there and work as a team and try to create scoring chances as we did on Wednesday.

“We know that Celtic are coming from a loss so we are expecting them to come out strongly, but we’re really focused on our own game and how we can improve from the last game.”

Meanwhile, Celtic striker Lennox Bacela believes his side have to end their current winless streak as they can’t afford to keep dropping points.

“The next game is crucial because we must keep up with the top pack,” said Bacela.

Phunya Sele Sele have now gone three matches in the league without tasting victory and go into this game straight from a 2-1 loss to Maritzburg United.

However, Bacela, who scored the opening goal, believes his side deserved more from that game, but let themselves down by wasting their chances.

“We created a number of chances, the way we executed the game was spot on, but it’s unfortunate that we didn’t convert those chances.”

Clinton Larsen’s men are currently in 10th on the log with 10 points from nine matches and will look to bounce back in style in front of their fans, although Bacela admits that Usuthu will not be easy opponents.

“It’s difficult to know what to expect because AmaZulu have been changing their team, especially their defence, but what we need to do is improve on our composure in front of goals and not worry too much about the opposition.

“The coaches have also been working on our defending which is not only the duty of the defenders but the team as a whole so I’m sure things will improve in the next couple of games,” concluded the Celtic man.

Last season this fixture ended in a 1-1 draw with Bacela opening the scoring before Josef Lekata scored a late equaliser for AmaZulu.


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