Match referee Jelly Chavani is questioned by AmaZulu players during the DStv Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs. Chavani was suspended for four weeks after awarding a soft penalty to Chiefs in October. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/BACKPAGEPIX/SYDNEY MAHLANGU
Match referee Jelly Chavani is questioned by AmaZulu players during the DStv Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs. Chavani was suspended for four weeks after awarding a soft penalty to Chiefs in October. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/BACKPAGEPIX/SYDNEY MAHLANGU

AmaZulu defenders Thembela Sikhakhane and Samkelo Mgwazela have not forgotten the controversial 1-1 draw against Kaizer Chiefs in a Premiership match in Durban in October.

Usuthu were cruising to victory after Luvuyo Memela gave them a 48th-minute lead, but referee Jelly Chavani and his assistant Moeketsi Molelekoa gave Chiefs what looked like a soft penalty at the death.

Keagan Dolly buried the spot kick, giving Stuart Baxter’s men a point that looked unlikely in a match dominated by Benni McCarthy’s side.

Usuthu felt justified in their protest against the penalty when the SA Football Association (Safa) suspended Chavani and Molelekoa for four weeks as they viewed their call as poor.

Speaking ahead of the return match at FNB Stadium on Wednesday, Sikhakhane, a former Orlando Pirates right-back, said they have not forgotten how they were denied victory in Durban.

“We deserved the points in that game, but you know how football goes,” said Sikhakhane. “I can say Chiefs owe us because of what happened against them in the first round. The spirit of the players is high and you can see everyone is itching to win the points against them.”

Mgwazela said they are determined to win on Wednesday, though he is not happy that they have been inconsistent this season. “Obviously it is a big game on Wednesday,” said the Usuthu centre-back.

“The guys and coach don’t want to lose this game because everyone knows Chiefs owe us. They got a late penalty in the last match and we were not convinced it was a penalty.

“Everyone is focused and ready to go and we’re looking forward to playing this game. We don’t want to lose it. The coach told us we need to come to the party and start moving up the log like last season.”

Mgwazela commended the way they came back from two goals down to play a 2-2 draw away to Stellenbosch FC in Cape Town at the weekend, and said it is that kind of mentality which will help them against Chiefs.

“We mustn’t take away that Stellenbosch is a good team and they’re in the top three for now. But we always have that fighting spirit since we went to the Caf Champions League and playing [against TP Mazembe] in Lubumbashi.

“It’s just that we’re not being consistent in terms of the games we win and the next one we lose or draw.

“What we need to do is be consistent, but I’m very happy with the boys. We always fight and the fighting spirit at the weekend against Stellenbosch was superb,” said Mgwazela.

“I definitely want to see the same against Chiefs and it will happen. I believe it will happen and we can steal the three points.”  

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