BLACK Aces will go in search of a second successive win when they host Mamelodi Sundowns in an Absa Premiership match at the Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday evening, kick-off at 7.30pm
“Cometh the hour cometh the man” – is the slogan been adopted by the team in their quest to beat Sundowns.
Aces last beat Sundowns in a league match in 1988, thats 23 years ago, when Percy Nxumalo and Sapi scored in a 2-1 victory against Sundowns. In 1989 they again beat them in the BP Top 8 Quarter final, winning 4-2 on penalties
Percy Nxumalo today remains a legend of Aces and still holds the record for the most starts (286) and the most goals (64).
Aces have a point to prove against the Brazilians who have had the upperhand over them in recent matches. AmaZayoni are still smarting from their Nedbank final loss against the Tshwane outfit some 3 seasons ago.
Tomorrows clash set for the Mbombela Stadium has all the hallmarks of great match. Sundowns are fighting for a credible finish in the PSL and still have ambitions to be crowned champions. Aces on the other hand are in a “dog-fight” and the intimidating Sundowns reputation will be fully tested by an “amped” AmaZayoni.
Coach Harrison has a “nice” problem with virtually a full squad at his disposal. The “winds of change” at Aces has motivated some of the players and there is healthy competition for key positions in the squad.
It seems that Aces will be reluctant to change a winning formula and the same players are expected to start against Sundowns. At the back Warren Bishop is available after his suspension and should make the squad. Joseph Henyekane, who is also match fit and impressing at training, should also make the squad.
Its in the midfield where coach Harrison has his “problem”. Marawaan Bantam is desperate to play after his long injury while some pundits are calling for Lindo Mbatha to start. In his 30 minute outing against Arrows, “Caterpillar” Mbatha looked real good when he came on as a replacement for Masina. After a full rehad with a sports scientist team, Lindo came back into the fold with some dazzling runs down the right. He has serious pace and is not scared to take on defenders and as a playmaker may be key to an Aces victory.
Joseph Makhanya had his best game for Aces and was a deserved “Man of the Match” against Arrows. With the new 4-4-2 system, it has allowed our midfielders more freedom to express themselves and “Duku Duku” revelled. David “DVD” Mathabule has now found his old form and is now enjoying playing regularly. His workload is high and he is very committed and the consumate professional, and is key to Aces grabbing the ascendency in the midfield.
“Tso” Vilakazi will not play due to the loan agreement clause between Aces and Sundowns.
Mpho “Zico” Maleka is hungry for goals and Harrison must take some credit for his revival. His 2 goals against Arrows has elevated him into joint third on the PSL “Top Goalscorers” charts and he is only 3 goals behind Knowledge Musona who has scored 11.
Sundowns put themselves back in contention for the title with a 3-0 win over Bidvest Wits on Saturday night. Striker Katlego Mphela scored two goals in his first start since returning to the team.
The Brazilians, placed fourth, are now five points off the pace of leaders Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town. With eight rounds of the league left, the Tshwane team still have an outside shot at the championship.-Black Aces website