Xulu confident of Nedbank Cup semifinal win over Sundowns19/04/2018
Maritzburg United defender Siyanda Xulu knows all about the attacking talent of Nedbank Cup semifinal opponents Mamelodi Sundowns, but says his rock-solid backline will have a plan to counter their threat at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday.
Maritzburg have been excellent at the back this season and Xulu has played his part in that following his move from Kaizer Chiefs, where he had received limited game-time.
A former Sundowns defender as well, he would love to get one over his former side and book a place in the Nedbank Cup decider at the Cape Town Stadium on May 19.
“We’re expecting a very tough game obviously. It’s never easy against Sundowns, but we want to show that we’re the best, and to be the best, you have to beat the best. We are playing at home, we want to win the cup, it’s no secret that we want to be in the final,” Xulu said.
“They are one of the top sides, not only in South Africa, but in Africa. So we have to respect them, but we want the result.
“What we will try and do is stick to our plan, do what we have done through the season and that is to focus on ourselves, playing the way we train. And whatever comes in the game, we have to deal with that.
“I don’t think much has to be changed with our defensive approach. We’re one of the best defensive sides in the league. Yes Sundowns are a very good side, we have to show them respect and plan for them, but I don’t think much will change on our side.”
Maritzburg defeated Sundowns in the top eight quarterfinals earlier this season, but Xulu says that will mean little come Sunday.
“Unfortunately in football the past does not count. We can’t think because we beat them in Pretoria, now we’ll have the upper hand, that’s not the case.
“Sundowns are scoring goals, they are a very well-oiled machine. But we’ve also been doing well, scoring goals, we have been defending well too. It’s going to be a hell of a 90 minutes.”
*The views represented are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of Nedbank.