Mulenga eyes prized Sundowns scalp as AmaZulu welcome premiership leaders
AmaZulu host premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns in a match Augustine Mulenga hopes will close the gap between the two sides when they meet at Durban’s Kings Park Stadium on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Zambian international said beating Sundowns‚ who have won the league title three times in the last three seasons‚ would signal the second-placed AmaZulu's intent as serious title contenders this season.
“Everyone has been pushing and looking forward to this game against Sundowns‚” said the former Orlando Pirates striker.
“I’m also looking forward to it because it’s a big game‚ and the three points are going to take us closer to them [Sundowns]. They are the league leaders and I’m looking forward to the game.”
AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy's charges have had a fabulous run and won their last six league matches to move to second place ahead of Wednesday’s meeting against the defending champions‚ who have an advantage of six points and two games over the Durban club.
AmaZulu are unbeaten in 12 league matches and Mulenga‚ who has contributed nine assists and four goals in the league‚ said they have a chance to close the gap if they beat the Brazilians on Wednesday.
The Zambian is pleased with his form after struggling to maintain a regular starting berth at Pirates last season.
“Each player has his duty on the field and what I’m always looking forward to is if I don’t score, at least I can assist‚" he said.
“That makes me happy because it means I’m doing something for the team. Sundowns are a good team and what I can emphasise to my teammates is that we must not make a lot of mistakes.
“Sundowns can use those mistakes to beat us. We can also [force] them to make mistakes and then use those mistakes to collect maximum points.”
Playing alongside Lehlohonolo Majoro‚ Bongi Ntuli‚ Siphelele Mthembu and Luvuyo Memela in Usuthu’s attack-prone system‚ Mulenga has been key for McCarthy and linked up with the strikers‚ including scoring vital goals himself.
A win for Usuthu‚ who were initially just aiming for a top four finish after a number of years fighting relegation under the previous owners‚ would take them to within three points below Sundowns.
The Brazilians also face a tough match against last season’s runner-up Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.