Dishing up goals for charity

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iol spt mar22 Wits-Amazulu Anesh Debiky/ Gallo Images The Goals4Goals fund-raising campaign can bank on AmaZulu and Bidvest Wits to dish up a few more goals for charity when the sides meet in the Nedbank Cup last 16. Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

The Goals4Goals fund-raising campaign can bank on AmaZulu and Bidvest Wits to dish up a few more goals for charity when the sides meet in the Nedbank Cup last 16 in KwaMashu this afternoon.

These teams rarely fire blanks against each other. In 56 league and cup meetings since 1985 they have produced four goalless results.

With the tournament sponsor donating R10 000 for every goal in the national cup competition a few more schools will receive playing kit and equipment, and one will get a multi-purpose sport court worth R1 million.

All three local sides are in action today, with Maritzburg United visiting Platinum Stars and Golden Arrows hosting Mamelodi Sundowns in a night game in uMlazi.

Cup kings Stars have bagged two trophies already this season and with home-ground advantage they should be good for a few goals.

Home or away Arrows have leaked goals all season, which should make it easier for Sundowns to fine-tune their shooting and further boost the charity campaign’s account.

AmaZulu rebounded from a hat-trick of league defeats to register consecutive victories over Maritzburg and Polokwane City, with all the goals scored by their attacking players. Bongani Ndulula grabbed a double and Goodman Dlamini and Lucky Nguzana one apiece.

Ndulula has been hindered by a recurring leg injury, but is expected to continue playing with the help of painkillers.

“He’s not as sharp as he would like to be, and that’s a bit of a concern,” said coach Craig Rosslee, “but that’s why we signed Lucky. He got the winner against Polokwane and bolsters our strike-force.

“In terms of our league form we have turned the corner and played good football in the last two games.

“We have to take that working attitude into the cup.

“This is our home and they must travel here, so we should be sharper,” added Rosslee.

Utility attacker Ruzaigh Gamildien recovered from injury and featured as a substitute in the last two matches.

He should be fit to play a full game if Ndulula breaks down. Defensively, goalkeeper Philani Zikalala and central defender Carlington Nyadombo will have their work cut out trying to keep Sthembiso Ngcobo quiet.

The former Kaizer Chiefs forward endured a frustrating spell on loan with AmaZulu in the first half of the season but is enjoying his game since he transferred to the Students.

Ngcobo got the winner when the teams last met in February, but Zikalala was determined not to be beaten again by his long-time friend.

“We know each other from a very long time, and played together in the First Division for Durban Stars.

“I always tell him he won’t score against me and I’m looking forward to the game.

“Wits are a very tough side if you give them space. They are dangerous with the long balls and second balls and are very good with crosses, so we have to be very tight,” Zikalala said.

Maritzburg and Platinum Stars have already met in a cup this season, with Stars victorious in the first round of the Telkom Knockout.

Today’s game will serve as a dress rehearsal of sorts for their second round league meeting next weekend. Stars won the first league match.

Arrows haven’t kept a clean sheet all season, and their defence will get a thorough work-out against Sundowns.

If theNedbank Cup

(last 16)

Last night

Santos 0 Pirates 2

(Athlone Stadium)

Today

AmaZulu v Wits

(Princess Magogo Stadium, 3pm)

Platinum Stars v Maritzburg Utd

(Moruleng Stadium, 3pm)

Arrows v Sundowns

(King Zwelithini Stadium, 8.15pm)

Tomorrow

Bloem Celtic v Witbank Spurs

(Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium, 3pm)

Warriors v Milano United AFC

(Charles Mopeli Stadium, 3pm)

Wednesday

Chiefs v FC Buffalo

(FNB Stadium, 7.30pm)

Swallows v SuperSport Utd

(Dobsonville Stadium, 7.30pm)

CAF Champions League

Tomorrow

AS Vita (DRC) v Chiefs

(Tata Raphael Stadium, 3.30pm)

CAF Confederation Cup

Today

Etoile Sahel (Tun) . v SuperSport Utd

(Stade Olympique de Sousse, 4pm)y manage to hold out for a penalty shoot-out or score an upset win it would be a shot in the arm for their league campaign. – Saturday Independent


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