'Honour the legends in their lifetimes'
Posted: 6 February 2018 Time: 10:40
AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson feels it is important to honour the game's greats in their lifetimes.
Johnson paid tribute to Usuthu legend Cedric 'Sugar Ray' Xulu after his side's come-from-behind 2-1 win over derby rivals Golden Arrows on Saturday.
Six thousand fans watched the match at King Zwelithini Stadium, with the gate proceeds earmarked for Sugar Ray's medical expenses as he continues his battle with prostate cancer.
Usuthu also organised a book launch for the 78-year-old at the venue amongst other activities held in his honour on the weekend.
Arrows threatened to spoil the show for the hosts when Knox Mutizwa slotted in a 51st minute opener after running onto a defence-splitting pass from Jabulani Shongwe in Umlazi.
However, Sinethemba Mnguni, an off-season signing from Mbombela United, responded with a quick-fire brace to help his team register consecutive wins for the first time this campaign.
Johnson was delighted with the character shown by his side, who avenged a 4-1 loss in the reverse tie in September.
"I thought we came out a lot smarter in the second half but the goal we conceded, ja, we spoke about it, as exactly like you said, they were trying to get the ball behind us in the space and they scored the goal," Johnson told reporters.
"I thought the effort put in by the players was well done for scoring two goals. I thought the red card [to Michael Morton] we received was unnecessary but that's football and now we move on. We lose one of our key players I think for three games but what can you do? We are just happy that last time the score was 4-1 everybody said we got a hiding, but 2-1 is exactly the same thing.
"Over and above that, we wanted to make it a good day at King Zwelithini and also to honour Sugar Ray Xulu. We always say we should honour our people while they are still alive and Sugar deserves all the honour and the glory that he got today for the team he played with for many, many years. I hope that he appreciates it and I'm just happy that AmaZulu is showing that to the legend."
The win stretched AmaZulu's unbeaten streak to five matches and lifted the Durban-based outfit into the top eight with 10 matches left in the season.
Johnson added: "I think we still have a young team that plays good football that still needs to learn a lot and that's what we are doing. We have gone on a five-match unbeaten streak. I think we went four games without conceding and today we conceded one goal but we still won the game. Those are pluses and minuses. We are happy for that and it is something we can build on."
Johnson will be without the suspended Michael Morton when they next entertain NFD strugglers Mthatha Bucks in the last-32 of the Nedbank Cup at the same venue on Wednesday (19h30).