DURBAN – Siyabonga Nomvethe, the veteran AmaZulu striker, is looking to help his side complete a double over Mamelodi Sundowns.
In the first round when Usuthu beat the Brazilians 2-1 in Pretoria, Nomvethe was the catalyst for that victory as he came off the bench to cancel out Sundowns' lead before Mabhudi Khenyeza sealed the win.
Tomorrow night at the King Zwelithini Stadium, Nomvethe will be out to repeat the dose on Pitso Mosimane's team as he seeks to help AmaZulu garner the maximum points that will take them one step closer to realising their goal of finishing in the top eight.
“They want to win the league and we are pushing for top eight. We have to win on Friday because we are playing at home. It is difficult to collect points away from home. You have to win more games at home.”
And it is common knowledge that an Usuthu win is often courtesy of a telling contribution from the well-travelled striker who is also the PSL's all-time leading scorer.
“Whenever I’m on the field, I always think about scoring goals. It doesn’t matter the opposition. I want to score in every match I’m playing. It is not nice when I’m not scoring. As a striker I must always work hard to score goals.”
He admits though that it will take some doing to overcome Sundowns.
“We have to work diligently because this is going to be a tough match. They are a big side that is playing exciting football and we respect them. But it doesn’t mean we are scared of them. It is 11 v 11 on the field and we will give our all so that we can claim maximum points.”
The good thing for Nomvete and Co is that they have generally tended to get the better of the so-called big guns.
Besides Sundowns, Usuthu have already beaten defending champions Bidvest Wits as well as Nedbank Cup holders SuperSport United while they got a point against each of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. Nomvethe attributes those impressive results to their positive attitude towards such ties.
“Our recipe for such great accomplishments has been diligence and good planning. You can't fault us for commitment against the top teams. And we are not going to stop with that kind of mentality,” explained the player who turns 41 in December but has no plans to call it quits just yet because “football talent is a gift.
I don’t want to abuse my gift. I want to use it in a beneficial way”.