Tough week ahead for Mbombela United

Mbombela United coach, Aschwin Sutton say they need to beat three Cape sides.

Mbombela United coach, Aschwin Sutton, said their exit from the Nedbank Cup was a blessing in disguise, as they can now fully focus on trying to book a spot in the National First Division play-offs.
Tingwenyama were bundled out of the lucrative cup by Bloemfontein Celtic which beat them 2-1 at Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A brace by Burundian striker, Fiston Abdul-Razak, ensured that Phunya Sele Sele advance to the last eight. United’s consolation goal came via veteran defender Jermaine Christian who headed from a set piece in the dying minutes of the game.

Jermaine Christian, who scored for Mbombela United when they go down 2-1 to Bloemfontein Celtic in the Nedbank Cup last-16.

Despite bowing out of the tournament, Tingwenyama will be smiling all the way to the bank as they are set to receive R200 000 for being last-16 losers.
“It’s not that we didn’t want to progress further in the cup (Nedbank). If you look at the Celtic game, the boys gave their all and it’s just unfortunate that we don’t convert the chances we create. But we take the positives out of the Celtic game and we fully channel our energies in the league,” said Sutton.

On form winger, Isaac Nana of Mbombela United is expected to play a leading role.

Their quest to push for a play-off spot begins tomorrow when they visit Cape Town All Stars at Parow Park in Cape Town. Kick off is at 15:00. That clash will be followed with another Cape side – Stellenbosch FC – which they will host at KaNyamazane Stadium on April 19.

Three days later they will return to the Cape when they visit Milano United.
Sutton describes these following games against the Cape sides as their real mentalist test to see if the boys are ready for the play-offs spot.
“We will be playing three back-to-back games against Cape sides. It is going to be a hectic week but the boys are ready for the test. Without the long term injuries to Sinethemba Mnguni and Bongani “Ronaldo” Ndhlovu, otherwise we have a clean bill of health,” added Sutton.

He said the gap between them and the sides were not that huge, which gives them hope going forward that they still have a chance of booking a spot in the play-offs.
“If you look at the gap between us (11 spot with 27 points) and the team in position three, which is a play-off spot (Stellenbosch FC with 34 points) is a mere seven points. If we can win our games, anything is possible,” reasoned Sutton.

Richard Nkosi

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