Larsen heaps praise on Bilankulu

The KZN derby was settled by the only goal in the 44th minute by Knox Mutizwa, who headed in his second goal this season since he joined the club in January on loan from Bidvest Wits.

Mutizwa was unmarked in the box and ensured that Larsen got his first win against his former club since he took charge of Arrows last season.

REPORT: Arrows win KZN derby

But it was an archetypal performance from Bilankulu, who scored when these two sides played in the same venue last season in a 1-1 draw, as he outmuscled everything Maritzburg tried to conjure up.

And Larsen couldn't hold himself back in his appraisal afterwards by hailing Bilankulu's performance and the importance of the three points.

“Musa Bilankulu, what an example of professionalism. The work ethic he gives on the field is contagious and everyone just follows and runs off everybody else,” Larsen told reporters after the game.

“I’m very happy for him but finally we keep a clean sheet. That had been our Achilles heel this season conceding soft, soft goals and we kept the clean sheet and got the three points so it was a big result for us.”

With his side now sixth on the log, having topped it in September when he also claimed the Coach of the Month award, Larsen said it was important to be in the mix of the top six.

“We are probably in a mini-league of six or seven teams, I think if you look at the way the log is structured at the moment. It's probably your top five including Cape Town City and six or seven teams fight for six, seven and eight,” he added.

“And we are one of those teams together with Maritzburg, Platinum Stars and the rest of the teams around us. So it was a big six-pointer to put four, I think it is four points, between ourselves at this stage of the league with 10 games to go.

“It’s a big plus for us also to pull away from the likes of Orlando Pirates and Chippa United. So it is a major three points for us and the players showed exactly what we’ve been asking for this season.”

Abafana Bes’thende will quickly be in action again on Tuesday when they visit a rejuvenated Platinum Stars at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.