Usuthu players used socks for protection

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Defender and skipper Belux Kasongo said they decided to wear the socks and bandages to protect themselves from severe injury.

“We discovered when we entered the field for loosening up that the pitch was full of thorns. It was clear to us that we were in trouble. Pere Ariweriyai and I decided that we should wear something that would protect our arms because we were expecting to defend heavily throughout the match. The socks and bandages helped us from being seriously injured,” said Kasongo with a laugh.

Midfielder Effort Sithole, who had a storming game, was however so lucky and was hurt in the match.

“After going down following a tackle, I felt pain in my thighs and body. That pitch was terrible, but I’m just glad amajita soldiered on and fought hard for victory.”

Usuthu publicist Philani Mabaso also praised the players for their never-die-attitude under the harsh conditions. Meanwhile, AmaZulu striker Mpho “Zeco” Maleka says there’s no secret as to why he seems to have an edge over Black Leopards.

The Limpopo-born forward, whose weekend ha-ttrick against Leopards moved Usuthu to the Nedbank Cup semis, has scored five goals against the Thidiela family-owned outfit this season.

He scored in the 2-0 win at Thohoyandou during the first round and followed up with another one in KwaMashu.

“I don’t have muti or anything special; it is just that I’m always motivated to do well for my team. It was the the same case during my spell at Dynamos.

“I have never lost against Leopards and so I approached the Sunday cup game with that mentality. Luckily for me, things went my way again,” says Maleka.