Santos strikers need to find form
Posted: 12 September 2008 Time: 15:11
Bay United may inflict further pain on a Santos side tonight that has failed in two matches this season – one in a cup game and one in a Premier Soccer League match.
The Cape side has also failed to score in either of those games, even when their top strikers from last season – Eleazar Rodgers and Erwin Isaacs – were given ample opportunities to score from the penalty spot, but failed, against Wits in their league opener two weeks ago. Santos lost that game 2-0.
This week Santos coach David Bright made scoring goals a priority during the training sessions with the hope of breaking their duck against United. In friendlies against First Division sides Vasco da Gama and Ikapa Sporting, the People’s Team managed to score seven goals.
Although this may be a boost in confidence for Santos, it won’t be as easy for them to get past the solid defence of Wash Umlilo at Athlone Stadium (kick off 20h00), which includes the ever-reliable duo of captain Duran Francis and Asanda Mvalo.
Santos’ influential former captain Musa Otieno is happy to be back after returning earlier this week from the United States where he played for the US League Two champs, Cleveland City Stars.
The Kenyan-born defender is very confident of a victory in front of the team‘s home crowd.
“We have to be confident when playing at home. We need to work hard and collect all three points. We‘ve worked hard this week. There‘s no specific game plan, we just need to play as a team and there will be no pressure.”
Wash Umlilo coach Vladislav Heric, who has gained the respect of many of his counterparts in the league, tells the PE Herald that he is expecting a tough game and is ready for the Capetonians, whom he thinks will be coming out to collect every available point tonight.
“They will come out and try to win the game, but we are ready. It will be a tough match, but we will also be out to win the game. The boys have proven themselves to be capable of doing a very good job,” he said.
Heric does not intend making too many changes to the side that did duty against Moroka Swallows in their season opener and expects the team to keep the fire burning.
In tonight‘s other PSL clash, Orlando Pirates need to follow their coach Ruud Krol’s game plan if they are to win their local derby against a new-look Wits at Coca-Cola Park.
The match kicks off at 20h00.