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Usuthu Aims To Break 13-Year Hoodoo Against Pirates

  • April 11, 2024
  • 3 min read
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Usuthu Aims To Break 13-Year Hoodoo Against Pirates

 AmaZulu have begun their preparations for their much-anticipated encounter with Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.  

While singing praises to the defending champions, Usuthu head coach Pablo Franco Martin has granted assurance that his troops will be prepared for the upcoming fixture, also betting on his side’s record in recent knockout competitions.  

“We are going to be more than prepared to face the best team in the last two years in this kind of competition, in knockout competition, the defending champions,” said the Spaniard.  

“AmaZulu has not won in the last thirty years, we are a team that is doing this season very well in the knockout competitions.”  

The Saturday clash will see the only two Spanish tacticians in the PSL exchanging tactical blows on the pitch at Moses Mabhida Stadium for the first time in the PSL era.  

While Martin has struggled to find success at Usuthu, his countryman, Jose Riveiro has managed to win three out of four trophies in his time at Pirates.  

The AmaZulu manager, dubbed “Cijimpi” by fans, says he is weary of his Spanish counterpart’s success, but he is also aware of his weaknesses that he is planning to take advantage of.  

“I am expecting a really tough game, of course, you are seeing what they have achieved since they are here,” he said. 

“They are competing, but they are also a team with weaknesses like all clubs around the world and we are trying to focus on that and how to spoil those weaknesses.” 

A rather alarming statistic for Usuthu is that Pirates has never lost a game to AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida Stadium in all competitions.  

Cijimpi mentioned that he is also aware of that statistic but for him, “stats are meant to be broken.”  

“So far this season we are breaking many of those stats,” he said. 

“In the history of this club, AmaZulu never won a cup game away (in the PSL) in 90 minutes and this season we could beat Chiefs at FNB (first round of the Carling Knockout) and then after, Sekhukhune. So also, we are breaking these statistics, and statistics are meant to be broken,” said the Usuthu coach. 

AmaZulu approaches this encounter in high spirits after grinding an away victory over Cape Town City in windy Cape Town weather behind closed doors.  

The Durban side will look to carry that winning spirit when they welcome Pirates to Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday at 18:00.

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Samkelo Biyela

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