sour grapes?

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

AmaZulu have scored 19 goals without conceding any in the Nedbank Cup, courtesy of football gods who matched them with lower division teams since the beginning of the competition.

First they crushed Third Division (SAB Regional League) outfit Young Ones 14-0. On Saturday night they hammered Second Division side Vasco Da Gama, 5-0.

What is even more interesting is that they played both matches at home.

The club's leading goal-scorer, Dumisani Ngwenya, has so far scored 16 goals this season, with seven of the goals scored in the current knockout tournament. That makes him a leading goal-scorer in the competition.

A seemingly unconvinced Kosta Papic, former Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs coach, said after AmaZulu crushed their opponents on Saturday that he wished they would meet either Kaizer Chiefs or Mamelodi Sundowns in the next round.

"If I had things my way I would like to see them playing either Chiefs or Sundowns so that their strength can be tested," Papic said. "They need to face stiff competition to see how good they are."

The game started as expected, with the young boys trying to unsettle their big brothers with an early goal.

Things came close to an opener when striker Leonard Casner tried his luck with a long-range free kick, but found Usuthu goalkeeper Kalililo Kakonje alert.

But it did not take long before the floodgates opened.

In the 22nd minute Ngwenya received a through ball from Litha Ngxabi and fired past Darren Keet to make it 1-0 before half-time.

In the second half AmaZulu upped their game and Ngxabi took advantage of slack defending to pounce on a loose ball, which he slammed into the roof of the net in the 55th minute.

Da Gama were no pushovers, though, as they tried to pull one back. But Gavin Landis, who was a handful up front, had his attempt hitting the side-netting five minutes later.

Second-half substitute Sthembiso Dlamini put his name on AmaZulu's score-sheet when he scored in the 70th and 75th minutes before Ngwenya put the game beyond their opponents' reach in the 89th minute.

The victors' coach, Clive Barker, was still not impressed because "we made mistakes in the first half but regrouped in the second stanza".

"We are now playing good football and in our last four or five games we have shown a lot of confidence," he said.

Da Gama's Carlos das Neves said this was a learning curve for his players.