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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

Sikhakhane praises AmaZulu for Carling Knockout run

"This cup is very important to the club's president," says Sikhakhane.

Thembela Sikhakhane is singing praises for AmaZulu’s impressive run in the Carling Knockout, attributing it to the solid teamwork and unity within the team. 

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As they gear up for the semi-finals against TS Galaxy at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday afternoon, Sikhakhane acknowledges the history they aim to create, especially after falling short in the final in previous attempts.

Reflecting on their performance in the MTN8 last season, where they reached the final but couldn’t clinch the title against Orlando Pirates, Sikhakhane notes a distinct determination within the Usuthu camp this time. 

He emphasises that the team’s goal is to fulfil the wishes of the club president, Sandile Zungu.

Speaking about the team’s preparations, Sikhakhane assures that every player is geared up for the game. 

“The preparations are going well. Every player is ready for the game,” said Sikhakhane on Wednesday.

“We want to set a record of playing at least one cup final every season. But this (tournament) we wish to win it.”

The right-back, a former Pirates player, expresses their ambition to set a record of making it to at least one cup final every season. 

However, this time, their primary focus is on winning the Carling Knockout.

When asked about the key to their success in this competition, Sikhakhane points to co-operation.

He highlights how their collaborative efforts, especially evident in critical moments like scoring against Kaizer Chiefs and overcoming in-form Golden Arrows, have brought them to the current stage.

“Cooperation – we cooperated a lot from the first game against Kaizer Chiefs where we scored a goal towards the end of the game.

“In the second round, no one saw us beating the Golden Arrows, but we went through that as well. We are here now.”

AmaZulu need to stay grounded

While gaining confidence from victories against Chiefs and Arrows, Sikhakhane emphasises the need to stay grounded and avoid underestimating their upcoming opponent, TS Galaxy.

He cautions against overconfidence, stressing that every team poses a threat in the current playing field.

“We must not let up and relax because now we are facing TS Galaxy. They are also dangerous. They are doing very well lately, I don’t want to lie.

“We should not say that because we are playing at home and think things will be easier because we might live to regret it. This is a big game.

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“This cup is very important to the club’s president. From the very beginning, he has been asking us for a trophy. He is not the only one, as a group we also want it.”

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