Booysen heaps praise on Usuthu defence following victory over Stellies


AmaZulu defender, Mario Booysen lauded his defensive teammates following their latest Absa Premiership win against Stellenbosch FC on Wednesday night.

Usuthu walked away from the encounter in KwaMashu as 2-0 victors after a brace from Bongi Ntuli secured all three points.

Booysen says that although Ntuli, who has now scored all seven of AmaZulu’s goals in competitive matches, is vital to the team, the foundation of a successful campaign comes from a solid defensive unit.

“Keeping a clean sheet is as good as scoring a goal. If you are able to prevent the other team from scoring, then one goal is good enough to get the win, so the pressure is taken off our attackers to keep providing a number of goals,” he said.

“Defenders don’t always get the recognition they deserve and I think now that we have gone back to back games without conceding a goal, it is a massive confidence booster for us going into the next game.”

Usuthu have now kept two clean sheets on the bounce – against Baroka FC and Stellenbosch FC – whilst scoring three goals in the process and claiming six points.

Their upturn in results has moved them up to 12th in the Premiership.

Booysen, who had a slow start to his season a few weeks ago, has since gone on to prove his skeptics wrong by cementing a spot in the starting lineup alongside captain Tapelo Xoki.

The pair have looked comfortable playing next to one another in the Usuthu defence and have started to build an understanding of their defensive duties together.

Poor weather conditions and a late start for the midweek fixture, did little to deter AmaZulu fans from attending the match. Hundreds came out to show their support for the home team and they were not disappointed.

Booysen says playing in front of a home crowd is not only advantageous to the home side, but it also lifts the spirits of the players and makes them give that extra push for a win.

He added: “Our fan base is like a 12th man for us during a game. The team can hear them cheering us on from the pitch and it gives us more confidence.

“They shake up the opposition and you can see the difference it makes when we play at home, rather than when we play away.

“Our supporters really live for football, they understand the game and as a player, you can not ask for a better atmosphere than what we experience when we play at home.”

Usuthu will be in action again on Saturday night, at the Princess Magogo Stadium, as they take on bottom of the table Chippa United. Kick off is at 8:15pm.

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