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Benni explains tactics around using Mulenga

Augustine Mulenga

AmaZulu FC coach Benni McCarthy gave some insight into why he used goal scorer Augustine Mulenga when he did in their 1-0 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns on Monday.

The 31-year-old forward, Mulenga, came on as a 73rd minute substitute replacing the impressive Bongi Ntuli to score two minutes later which led to Sundowns' first loss of the season in 17 games.

In an interview after the game, coach McCarthy explained tactically why Mulenga was introduced in place of the in-form Ntuli.

"Ntuli was exceptional with his hold-up play, he gave us depth," McCarthy said. "He really held the ball up nicely and waited for support. We found a lot of joy with Ntuli with the game that he was having.

"Once we saw that he had his run his race – and he was superb for the team – we thought the change was imminent and that it was better to go for someone with speed and trickery because their defenders were really tired.

"Ntuli really dragged them all over the pitch and he was a handful, so by the time Mulenga came in, the game was very open because Sundowns were pushing for that all-important goal.

"We knew that with the pace Mulenga can provide, he can get in and if he gets into a sprint race with [Ricardo] Nascimento or [Rushine] De Reuck, he might be able to have fresher legs and use the speed that he has," McCarthy said.

"Then [Thabo] Qalinge made a fantastic run, dragging De Reuck out with him wide, which opened the middle and Memela played the perfect pass into Mulenga, and like I said, fresher legs, speed...

"The finish was just unbelievable. I think if [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Kylian] Mbappe or Neymar finishes that, people will talk about it.

"It was a well-worked goal and worthy for us to go into the lead because I think we created and we had the better moments in the game up until that point," he added.