Usuthu facing the unknown


The midfield anchor-man has had a great season, earning several call-ups to the Bafana Bafana squad and is now hoping to help spearhead Usuthu’s drive to bring a rare trophy back to Durban.

He admits however that the team is not expecting to have things all their own way against Vasco.

”It’s going to be tough because we don’t know them, while they will know what to expect from us. Being a team from the second division, they will be out to prove something against us and we are the ones that have more to lose from this game,” Biyela told

Results have not been going the way of Clive Barker’s men after the restart of the season, but Biyela says there is still a feeling of confidence in the camp.

”We played well against Chiefs and deserved a 0-0 draw, but unfortunately a mistake at the back cost us. But overall the team spirit is good and we are playing well at the moment so we are confident of going through to the quarter-finals,” the 27-year-old Biyela says.

The Empangeni-born midfielder confirmed that Usuthu have a clean bill of health for this game.

Meanwhile for Vasco, the game represents a chance for the side from Parow to once again grab the limelight.

Two seasons back the amateur side came within a whisker of gaining promotion to the PSL, but fell at the final hurdle as a late goal for Benoni United saw the Rabbits taking their place in the top flight.

Vasco then sold its first division franchise to FC Cape Town and now plays in the Vodacom Second Division.

But with a highly superior goal difference and a three point lead just one game to go, Vasco look set to go into the play-offs for the first division, which has enabled the side for now to put all their energy into the Nedbank Cup.

”I think it is safe to say that we will win the title and stay on track to achieve the club’s goal of getting back to the first division and then the Premier League. This also now gives us more chance to focus on the Nedbank Cup,” says midfielder Keenin Lesch.

Despite their excellent showing in the Mvela Golden League a few seasons back, only Fadlu Davids (Silver Stars and Maritzburg United) and Shu-aib Walters (Bloemfontein Celtic) have gone on to secure big-time moves.

The remainder of the squad has by and large remained in tact despite dropping down the leagues – a tribute to their allegiance to the club and coach Carlos Das Neves.

Lesch says the players are now looking forward to testing themselves against top-flight opposition.

”AmaZulu has got a couple of young players like Bafo Biyela and Dumisani Ngwenya who have been called up to the national team recently, as well as former Bafana legend Shoes Moshoeu. To test yourself against those sort of players is inspiration in itself.

”The prize-money is also a big incentive for players like us who have 8-5 jobs and then go and train in the evenings after work,” he adds.

The venue for the match was shifted from Cape Town to Durban due to the unavailability of stadiums in The Mother City. Kick Off is at 20H00 Saturday evening.