Bucs youngster makes home debut
AFTER a top-drawer performance against Black Leopards last weekend, Orlando Pirates rising star Lehlogonolo Masalesa is convinced Bucs will send AmaZulu home empty handed to intensify their challenge for the Absa Premiership title.
Rejuvenated Pirates take on Usuthu, who have been blowing hot and cold, at Orlando Stadium on Sunday at 3.30pm. Masalesa, 20, will play his first home match for the Premier Soccer League double treble champions.
“I enjoyed myself when we beat Leopards in the Telkom Knockout match in Polokwane, especially getting man of the match award on debut. It’’s a great morale boost for me to settle down,” said Masalesa after training Thursday.
“We are now back to winning ways, but consistency will be key in all our remaining matches. The most important thing is that we are beginning to score goals, which was a cause for concern for all of us at the beginning of the season.
“Our supporters are used to celebrating winning trophies, so we have to ensure that we treat all the clubs with respect to avoid being embarrassed. We expect a tough one from AmaZulu, who are on cloud nine after beating Platinum Stars last weekend.
“For me it will be a great honour to play in my first game at Orlando Stadium. We are going all out for a win on Sunday,” said the Mankweng, Limpopo-born Masalesa, who has also played for all the three junior national teams in Majimbos, Amajita and the Under-23s.
Masalesa has also been called-up for Bafana Bafana but is still to get a cap.
AmaZulu’s golden striker Ayanda “Cobra” Dlamini believes the KwaZulu-Natal side have turned the corner after eliminating Dikwena from Wafa Wafa.
“There is no turning back after last weekend’’s win. Pirates have a quality side but we are confident that we will do well. The worst result will be a draw,” said Dlamini, whose club has won only one match (against Moroka Swallows) out of seven fixtures.
AmaZulu will have to keep a close eye on in- form striker Collins “Ntofontofo” Mbesuma, who scored two goals in each of his past two matches.
Pirates welcome back captain Lucky Lekgwathi, who missed the Leopards game due to an ankle injury, but Benni McCarthy will have to wait for another week or so before getting a run after recovering from a hamstring injury.