Lamontville Golden Arrows will push for nothing but a win when they take on Sekhukhune United in their league tie this Saturday at Ellis Park Stadium (Kick-off 15h00), as anything less than that will be regarded as failure for the Durban-based outfit.
And that’s because Abafana Bes’thende shot-stopper Sifiso Mlungwana believes such a positive outcome in this match, will serve as the needed confidence booster leading up to their MTN8 second leg semi-final fixture against Mamelodi Sundowns this coming week at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Mlungwana also lamented over the fact that his side has failed to protect their lead in the last three matches they had played in all competitions so far, adding that this was one achilles heel they needed to sort out, if they are to stand a chance of progressing past inform Mamelodi Sundowns in the Cup competition.
“A part of the reason why we haven’t secured as many wins we would have liked this early on in the season is because we have lost some players and the new guys are beginning to learn on how to play with and for each other,” Mlungwana said.
“We should have at least won our previous two league matches, however, lapses of concentration got the better of us and as a result the likes of TS Galaxy and AmaZulu were able to capitalize on our mistakes.
“We spoke as a team after the midweek match against AmaZulu and everybody in the team is on the same page that the Sekhukhune match is one game we cannot afford to lose or draw in,” Mlungwana added.
“This is a goal which we have set for ourselves as players because we know that it will serve us a great deal in our confidence leading to our game against Sundowns, come the second leg semi-final tie next week Tuesday.”
Meanwhile, 24-year old shot-stopper says seeing some of his peers excel at senior national team level this past FIFA break — where the new-look Bafana Bafana played to a 0-0 draw against Zimbabwe and then winning 1-0 against Ghana at FNB Stadium, inspired him greatly.
Mlungwana, who was part of South Africa’s National Under-23 squad which went on to compete at this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, says he has since been putting extra shifts in training to help up his game to possibly catch the eye of Bafana coach, Hugo Broos, for possible future Bafana Bafana call-ups.
“Going to the Olympic Games was a dream come true for me,” Mlungwana said. “It exposed me to a new level of working hard. My next target now is to become a consistent called up player into the Bafana Bafana squad. I know it will take a great deal of hard work, however, I have already started with that journey. I just want to continue getting better as a player.”
By Mohau Ramashidja