Usuthu could ambush Sundowns

HIGH-FLYING Mamelodi Sundowns could have their wings clipped if they dare underestimate AmaZulu in their battle for a place in the final of the Nedbank Cup.

HIGH-FLYING Mamelodi Sundowns could have their wings clipped if they dare underestimate AmaZulu in their battle for a place in the final of the Nedbank Cup.

Downs sent Orlando Pirates packing with a 3-1 drubbing in last weekend's quarterfinals and face Usuthu at Kings Park Stadium in Durban in tomorrow night's semifinal clash.

AmaZulu, who will enjoy home-ground advantage, beat University of Pretoria 2-1 to book their place in the semifinals. Tomorrow's clash will kick off at 8.15pm.

The Brazilians have been impressive of late under Trott Moloto and they will be hoping for a repeat of Sunday's demolition act against Pirates at the same venue.

Veteran keeper Brian "Spiderman" Baloyi has warned that although Downs have "won the battle, we have not won the war".

Moloto said that while Usuthu might not be as big a club as Pirates, their rich history in South African football means they should be given respect.

Under Neil Tovey's tutelage, the KwaZulu-Natal side have become a strong unit . But Tovey's chances of progressing have been dealt a huge blow with the absence through suspension of defenders Marc van Heerden, Warren Bishop and captain Pere Ariweriyai .

Yet the prospect of appearing in their first Cup final since 1992, when they won the Coca-Cola Cup 3-1 against Kaizer Chiefs under Clive Barker, will motivate AmaZulu. Barker is now the club's technical adviser.

Usuthu may consider themselves unlucky not to have made at least one of the finals this season after appearing in the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout Cup semis. Tovey, who was once a Sundowns coach, said they are going to make Downs sweat for their victory. "We'll definitely make it a contest for them and they'll know that they were in a match," he said.

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