Battling AmaZulu chasing vital three points against Polokwane City

Ben Motshwari will try to control proceedings for AmaZulu against Polokwane City tonight. Picture: BackpagePix

Ben Motshwari will try to control proceedings for AmaZulu against Polokwane City tonight. Picture: BackpagePix

Published Apr 2, 2024


AmaZulu’s hopes of finishing in a top-eight spot continue to take damaging blows, and will be on the line again when Polokwane City come to town tonight.

Usuthu will play hosts at the Moses Mabhida Stadium (7.30pm kick-off), looking to brush off their loss against TS Galaxy with a fine showing against Rise and Shine.

The KwaZulu-Natal outfit were forced to watch the likes of Galaxy and Golden Arrows make huge strides towards securing a place in next season’s MTN8 competition.

Now with nine DStv Premiership games remaining of the 2023/2024 campaign, AmaZulu are in a race against time to collect valuable points.

Although the results might suggest otherwise, Usuthu have, for the better part of the season, shown reason to be optimistic about Pablo Franco Martin leading the club’s new project.

However, football at the highest level is a cut-throat, results-driven business, which means the pressure is already knocking on the Spanish coach’s door.

It has not been a kind start to the year for AmaZulu, having failed to win any of the four league games they’ve played so far – losing two and drawing the other two.

It doesn’t get any easier for Usuthu now as they come up against a side they failed to beat in the first round, having played to a goalless draw in Polokwane.

Historically, Rise and Shine have been troublesome for AmaZulu, with the KZN club claiming just one win in the last seven encounters between the two teams, a record that stretches back to 2017.

For Polokwane City coach Phuthi Mohafe, this season can already be considered a success as his side is seemingly headed for another season in the top flight, having collected 27 points already with 10 games to go.

Around 30 points have been enough to secure safety for several seasons, and this campaign is no different, with relegation zone occupants Richards Bay and Cape Town Spurs on 14 and 12 points respectively.

Polokwane have surpassed that ambition, and have placed themselves in a position to sneak into the top eight when the season concludes.

A win over AmaZulu could lift 10th-placed Polokwane City as high as seventh, above the likes of Kaizer Chiefs and Arrows.

Many duels all over the pitch are expected to play a huge role in deciding the direction of the game.

Therefore, the exploits of Ben Motshwari and Rowan Human will be critical in ensuring AmaZulu control the match from start to finish.

Junior Dion and new Bafana man Mlondo Mbanjwa will be instructed to bring the firepower and precision in the final third as well.