AmaZulu overcome Royal AM once again in Nedbank Cup

Olwethu Mzimela of AmaZulu FC celebrates goal during 2024 Nedbank Cup Last 32 match between AmaZulu FC and Royal AM at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on on the 22 February 2024 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Usuthu were successful in their Nedbank Cup fixture against KZN rivals Royal AM, winning 1-0 at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Thursday evening.

AmaZulu put all their efforts into the attack in the first half, however were unsuccessful as both teams went into the break goalless. Royal AM did not have any shots on target at the end of the first half despite holding more of possession.

Coming into the second half, Usuthu showed more determination and put their all into scoring. In the dying minutes of the game, Hendrick Ekstein’s strike in the 85th minute sealed the deal for Usuthu, taking the team into the next round of the Nedbank Cup. Tshepang Moremi was named the Nedbank Man of the Match at the end of the fixture.

Ahead of the match, head coach Pablo Franco Martin had expressed that he needed more defensive structure and solidarity from his charges and it was clear as he went into the match with a back five.

Following the victory, Franco Martin expressed his delight in how his team played in the crucial fixture for silverware.

“I think it was balanced in the first half but in the second half, we created more chances and it was a bit more open,” the tactician told SuperSport.

“We were capable of taking our chances and from there let’s go for the next round — that’s the objective. Now it’s time to get back into reality.”

Shifting his focus back to the DStv Premiership, Franco Martin expressed that he was happy with tonight’s result from the team. 

“I am seeing the values of this team, the foundations we are building from day one. Another clean sheet and the solidarity from the players on and off the field,” he continued.

“We need to keep growing and we need to keep insisting on our idea to get better. At least we are back on track and that is the most important thing.”

AmaZulu (0) 1 (Ekstein 85’)

Royal AM (0)

AmaZulu: O. Mzimela, W. Jooste, M. Gumede, T. Fielies, R. Hanamub, M. Mbanjwa, B. Motshwari, E. Brooks (C. Ngema 89’), E. Chidi Kwem (S. Dion 70’), T. Moremi (H. Ekstein 70’)

Royal AM: H. Nyame, K. Shezi (S. Cele 89’), A. Jiyane, S. Mabuza, T. Matlaba (S. Sithole 59’), K. Mahlasela, S. Msomi (K. Ndlovu 89’), S. Magaqa, A. Maxwele, M. Macuphu, M. Masuku (L. Mashiane 89’)