Dlamini: How Usuthu tamed Sundowns

Ayanda Dlamini, interim Head coach of AmaZulu FC during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 game between AmaZulu and Mamelodi Sundowns

AmaZulu FC interim coach Ayanda Dlamini has opened up about how his side was able to end Mamelodi Sundowns’ three-match winning streak.

Goals from Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Augustine Chidi Kwem helped Usuthu fight back to hold Masandawana to a 2-2 draw in Wednesday’s DStv Premiership clash.

Dlamini explained why he was not concerned by influential playmakers Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino’s combination.

“You will be surprised if I tell you that – [Themba] Zwane, [Gaston] Sirino and the young boy [Ntando Nkosi], who was playing as an eight and Haashim Domingo, they were receiving the balls exactly where we wanted them to be,” Dlamini said.

“Exactly where we knew they would never hurt us because we were very compact and Zwane had to drop to get the ball very deep or he had to go wide.

“That is what we wanted, because if they can have combinations in front of our goals, like the first goal they scored, it was from our mistake.”

“But we were not worried about Zwane being on the ball, Domingo on the ball, as long as they were in the places that we wanted them to be,” he continued.

“Even Sirino, when he started, he started as a second striker and the diamond-shaped in the midfield. But he was always dragged out of position because the space was very thin in between our defensive lines.

“We were not worried about that. But after we made a mistake and they scored, we had to change the plan now because you can’t sit back when you are down, that’s why we started pressing high.”

AmaZulu are now placed 11th on the league standings and they will be keen to bounce back to winning ways when they face Lamontville Golden Arrows away on May 13.