Big test for Ar­rows

Dur­ban side aim to make it two wins in a row when they face Stars

Weekend Witness - - Classifieds - LLOYD BURNARD PSL foot­ball

GOLDEN Ar­rows coach Mark Har­ri­son left Princess Ma­gogo Sta­dium 10 min­utes be­fore full time in AmaZulu’s 2-0 win over Plat­inum Stars on Wed­nes­day night. He had ob­vi­ously seen enough, and if Ar­rows beat Stars tonight at King Zwelithini Sta­dium, it will cap off a mis­er­able week in the Zulu King­dom for the Rusten­berg-based MTN8 cham­pi­ons.

Ar­rows are in high spir­its, and have had a mid­week break fol­low­ing their 2-1 win over Mar­itzburg United last weekend. That win was hugely im­por­tant for Ar­rows, as it saw them move ahead of the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria into 14th place on the PSL ta­ble. The ob­jec­tive now, ob­vi­ously, is to build on that win and con­tinue a steady climb up the ta­ble and away from the rel­e­ga­tion wor­ries that ac­com­pany the base­ment po­si­tions.

En­cour­ag­ing for Ar­rows is that both of Har­ri­son’s wins since tak­ing over have come at home.

“It is quite strange be­cause our ap­proach to away games is the same as our ap­proach to home games. We never go to nick a point, we al­ways go for the three,” Har­ri­son told Weekend Wit­ness this week. “But it is al­ways im­por­tant to win your home games and give the fans that come out some­thing to cel­e­brate.”

With striker Bonginkosi Ntuli in fine form af­ter net­ting twice in his last three out­ings, and Ar­rows show­ing an abil­ity to move the ball quickly around the pitch in re­cent matches, the prospect of see­ing goals tonight is a very real one.

“He [Ntuli] is a qual­ity player and has a very big fu­ture. I’m sure he will play for Bafana one day,” said Har­ri­son.

“He has pace, strength, he can hold the ball up, he can get past play­ers and he can score goals. But right now he needs to keep his head on his shoul­ders and keep work­ing hard.”

Turn­ing his at­ten­tion to Stars, Har­ri­son was all too aware of the threats he faced. “They play for each other. There are no su­per­stars there, but they have a col­lec­tive de­sire to win,” he said. “But we also want to win, and we have a big test now to see if we can pull of two games in a row.”

AmaZulu, also fresh off a win, are in Pre­to­ria this af­ter­noon for a date with Tuks. The Univer­sity side is fight­ing against sec­ond sea­son syn­drome, and another loss or two will start caus­ing a panic for coach Steve Barker.

But AmaZulu boss Craig Rosslee is ex­pect­ing a tough match.

“This is our third game in a week now and we are away, so it will be tough,” ad­mit­ted Rosslee on Wed­nes­day night af­ter cel­e­brat­ing his first league win in eight at­tempts. “If we go into this game with the same at­ti­tude that we have shown in our last few then I think we will al­ways be in busi­ness.”

It has been a frus­trat­ing few weeks for Rosslee, but even when not win­ning he has re­mained adamant that the side has been play­ing a good brand of foot­ball and cre­at­ing chances. The prob­lems, rather, have been in keep­ing goals out.

“This is a tough league,” the coach added with a smile. “We have to man­age our play­ers, get through the match, and then we have a two-week break.” 3.30 pm - Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria v AmaZulu 3.30 pm - Free State Stars v Kaizer Chiefs 6 pm - Golden Ar­rows v Plat­inum Stars 8.15 pm - Or­lando Pi­rates v Bloem Celtic 3.30 pm - Mamelodi Sun­downs v Moroka Swal­lows Tuks 1 - 1 AmaZulu; FS Stars 1 - 2 Chiefs; Ar­rows 1 - 1 Stars; Pi­rates 2 - 0 Celtic; Sun­downs 2 - 0 Swal­lows

PHOTO: GALLO IM­AGES

Bonginkosi Ntuli will look to main­tain his good form for Golden Ar­rows in tonight’s PSL clash against Plat­inum Stars in Um­lazi.

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