Amazulu Football Club has booked its place in the CAF Champions League group stages for the first time in their history. This follows a 1-1 draw against TP Mazembe in the Congo.
Amazulu FC advanced to group stages on the virtual of an away goal. This comes after the first leg ended 0-0 in Durban last week.
Amazulu head coach Benni McCarthy congratulated his players after their victory against five-times African Champions TP Mazembe.
“Today they showed me what I know and what I see every single day. I saw heart, character, personality, arrogance and I saw a football team and group of players not afraid of anything mental, especially what we had been through on the eve of the match.”
McCarthy criticized the Congolese officials for how they treated the players during the pre-match COVID-19 tests.
“We had COVID tests negative since we came here on the eve of the game. And they target one of our most important defenders in the team Tapelo Xoki. On the day of the game, it was the same. We took them to the same lab and the test came back negative twice. But they side say there is positive and then we lodged a complaint and they allowed him to, say ten minutes before kickoff they allowed him to play.”
AmaZulu played to a 0-0 draw against Mazembe in Durban last weekend, but a critical away goal by striker Bongi Ntuli at the weekend earned the Durban club a famous 1-1 aggregate win that took them to the money-spinning Last 16 stage of the competition, where McCarthy’s team will be rubbing shoulders with some of the top teams on the continent.
“I hope people will remember us for as long we’re alive because we’re the first team to do things at AmaZulu,” said McCarthy after his team’s stunning win on Saturday at the Stade de Mazembe.
“We could have won the match with two, three or four goals. The highlight of the day for me was the team spirit. These boys went out to play for their team.
“My teamt have a strong mentality and we’re absolutely delighted to be in charge of this group of players.
“We’re history makers, the first [AmaZulu] team to finish second in the league and the first team to qualify for the Caf Champions league group stages.”