Arrows target first final in a decade

Golden Arrows defender Musa Bilankulu
Golden Arrows defender Musa Bilankulu

Having won the MTN8 in 2009, Golden Arrows defender Musa Bilankulu is tempted to believe No9 is their lucky number.

A decade after their historic MTN8 triumph, their only major trophy to date, Abafana Bes'thende are now eager to clinch this year's Nedbank Cup.

But before thinking about winning it, Arrows must first beat National First Division (NFD) side TS Galaxy in the semifinals at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday [3pm].

The winner of this encounter in Clermont, Durban, will face either Kaizer Chiefs or Chippa United in the decider at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, also in Durban, next month.

"I was here in 2009 when we won the MTN8. I am positive we can replicate that because in a year with a 9, we win something. So, 2019 will be like 2009 for Arrows,'' said Bilankulu.

He and Siyanda Zwane are the only survivors from the class of 2009. The idea of competing in the CAF Confederation Cup after winning the Ke Yona Cup is already crossing Bilankulu's mind.

"Everyone in the team knows that if we win this cup we will get that exposure to play in the Confederation Cup.

"Our youngsters must experience playing on the continent, that would help us to compete with the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in future.''

TS Galaxy striker Sizwe Mdlinzo
TS Galaxy striker Sizwe Mdlinzo

The lad from Malamulele, Limpopo, feels their current squad has similar qualities to that of 2009.

"There's no difference between the two squads. In 2009, there was a balance of experience and youth and even now it's still there, the team has promoted a lot of youngsters from the MDC team,'' the Arrows defender-cum-midfielder said.

Meanwhile, Galaxy's joint top-scorer Sizwe Mdlinzo, registered his optimism that they can upset Arrows. Mdlinzo has scored five league goals this season, level with teammate Zakhele Lepasa.

"The Nedbank Cup is a cup of dreams. We have a strong team that can beat Arrows. They must not think it will be easy,'' said Mdlinzo, who netted the clincher in their 2-1 win over Cape Umoya in the quarterfinals late last month.

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