Home Sport Amazulu and Arrows will battle each other and their emotions in KZN...

Amazulu and Arrows will battle each other and their emotions in KZN Derby

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The week leading up to this match has been a difficult one for both clubs following the passing of one of the best strikers to represent both badges, Bongi Ntuli.

Rowan Human of AmaZulu FC is challenged by Lungelo Dube of Golden Arrows during the 2023 Carling Knockout Quarter-final match at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on November 4 2023. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

AN EMOTION-riddled KwaZulu-Natal derby takes centre stage for the second time in the space of a week when AmaZulu visit rivals Lamontville Golden Arrows on Sunday.

Usuthu will make the short trip to what has become a difficult Mpumalanga Stadium on Sunday afternoon for a clash against Abafana Bes’thende for a 3.30pm kick-off.

The week leading up to this match has been a difficult one for both clubs following the passing of one of the best strikers to represent both badges, Bongi Ntuli.

Ntuli, who was in his sixth year with AmaZulu, broke into the topflight scene in the yellow and green colours of Arrows after graduating from the club’s academy. He then went on to score 75 professional goals in the colours of Arrows, AmaZulu and Platinum Stars.

It would be no better tribute that this latest meeting of the two rivals be in his tribute and serve up a footballing feast befitting his legacy at both outfits.

The two teams will be more than familiar with each other at this point of the season, having featured in a pre-season tournament and having met already seven days ago in the Carling Knockout Cup.

Usuthu broke a three-year winless record against their rivals last time out, with Junior Dion scoring a hat-trick to see his side through to the next round. The defeat for Arrows may have been a bigger blow than originally imagined as head coach Mabhuti Khenyeza and his men fell to Royal AM in midweek.

After losing just one of their opening 10 matches in all competitions, Arrows have now lost back-to-back games for the first time in the 2023/24 campaign, worrisome form ahead of the derby. However, meeting an opponent they’ve been able to topple in recent years may present Abafana Bes’thende an opportunity to regain their form and inject new life into their season.

Prior to last week’s loss, third-placed Arrows had won three and drawn one of their last four meetings with AmaZulu, a trend they’ll look to get back to if they’re to challenge for CAF places.

Relegation battle at King Zwelithini Stadium

At the King Zwelithini Stadium, meanwhile, another KZN club will be presented with a chance to boost survival hopes in what is already a relegation six-pointer against Cape Town Spurs. Richards Bay FC will welcome the Urban Warriors to Umlazi for a 3.30pm kick-off, looking to build a considerable gap between them and their bottom-placed opponents.

The Natal Rich Boyz have managed just six points from their opening 11 DStv Premiership games, just three more than 16th-placed Spurs.

The two teams grabbed famous wins over Orlando Pirates in cup and league competition before falling to defeats in their last matches, their unstable defensive lines exposed once more.

Both head coaches, Kaitano Tembo for Bay and Sean Connor in the Spurs dug-out, will hope their sides turn up for one of their most important head-to-head battles.

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