DURBAN - If AmaZulu can build on their winning start to the Premiership season then the club will be well on their way to becoming a stabilised outfit.
New coach Cavin Johnson was pleased with the side’s display in fighting with 10 men to beat a Free State Stars unit that had also been reduced to 10 men by the time the goal was scored in their opening league game in uMlazi on Saturday. This was the Durban side’s first match back in the top division after they bought the status of promoted Thanda Royal Zulu.
An own goal following a penalty taken by defender Tapelo Nyongo earned Johnson’s men victory. The coach later expressed his belief in the squad that he inherited, having been appointed less than a fortnight before the season’s kickoff.
“In life you’re never satisfied, but I am satisfied with the fact I’ve inherited a team where all the players need to be given a chance to play in the PSL.
“This is only the start. If we carry on playing (like this) and get better then we will own uMlazi, which is only the right thing to do,” said Johnson.
He praised his team for standing firm despite the setback of losing defender Sadate Ouro-Akoriko to a red card early in the clash.
“You have to give credit to the boys; I thought we controlled the game for most parts of it, even though we were down to 10 men. Being the first game in the PSL as a team you have to credit them and by the end of the game it looked like they were enjoying themselves.
“The goal made it better. It made them realise what the competition is like in the PSL and that they can compete. We were together for only a week. To be able to turn it around to do what they did, you have to say well done.
“Being a man down with 20 minutes to go, I thought they handled it very well. Michael Morton played well at the back in that half. It looked good up until we scored the goal and we contained them, but then we let it slip a bit because of fatigue,” said the former Supersport tactician.
On Monday the squad departs for Port Elizabeth for Tuesday night’s game against Chippa United.