AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson eagerly awaiting Telkom Knockout clash against Kaizer Chiefs
Posted: 28 October 2017 Time: 19:00
AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson has welcomed the challenge of meeting Kaizer Chiefs a week after downing fellow Big Three member Mamelodi Sundowns.
Johnson's men will play Chiefs in the last-16 of the Telkom Knockout at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, having defeated Sundowns 2-1 in the league in Tshwane last weekend.
Amakhosi are the home side but decided to stage the match in Usuthu's backyard of Durban.
"It's good that we play Kaizer Chiefs in the next game because in the last episode we beat Bidvest Wits [on September 20] and we drew against Platinum Stars [three days later]. For me this will take us to another level," said Johnson.
"Look we played Sundowns and we had a good result. Now we are going to play Kaizer Chiefs and for that we will be all the better. Let's see if we can maintain the momentum.
"The players are looking forward to coming back. It is an away game at home and I think the venue is 500 metres away from our training ground.
"It's going to be a big game. The game is against the biggest team in the country Kaizer Chiefs and we know what it is like. It's always a pleasure to play against them. It's always important to play against them because you've got younger players within the team that, at some moment in their lives, they were supporting Kaizer Chiefs."
Usuthu last beat Amakhosi in March 2007 with a 2-1 scoreline courtesy of a brace from ex-Chiefs forward Lucky Mzizi. Since then the Glamour Boys have won 13 of 17 meetings, with four draws.
The sides have collided twice before in the TKO since the National Soccer League's inception in 1985. Usuthu won the tournament when it was called the Coca-Cola Cup by defeating Amkhosi 3-1 in the final in 1992. Chiefs gained some measure of revenge when they defeated the KwaZulu-Natal outfit 3-0 in 2010.
Johnson was astounded that AmaZulu's previous win over the Soweto giants in the event was so long ago.
"Twenty-five years! What a time, what a time. I know there's a lot of history that we need to bring back in the AmaZulu camp or in the AmaZulu team and we aware of it," he added.
"But we'll just go out there and do our best on Saturday."
Johnson is without injured trio Sadat Ouro-Akoriko, Thapelo Nyongo and Ovidy Karuru for the game. However, Thembela Sikhakhane, who is on loan from Orlando Pirates, is back from a long-term knock.