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AmaZulu’s new Nurkovic Can’t Play Against Sundowns

The good news for AmaZulu FC is that they have signed a striker in a mould of Kaizer Chiefs’ red-hot Samir Nurkovic in Slovakian-born Milos Lacny.

The bad news is that he’s not available for their crucial Absa Premiership match against Mamelodi Sundowns at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday night.

Usuthu’s first league game in the new year comes at a time when they’re trying to earn points to move away from the relegation zone. But the Durban team’s coach‚ Josef Vukusic‚ disclosed on Thursday that Lancy may only be available in the third or fourth game in January.

Having scored only nine goals in 15 games in the league‚ eight of those coming from striker Bongi Ntuli‚ Vukusic is desperate to shore up his striking department with the new man from his native country.

Playing against a team who have humiliated his team twice this season– 5-0 in the Telkom Knockout in October‚ then a far more respectable 1-0 in the league in November‚ both in Pretoria – Vukusic would have liked to have paired Ntuli with lanky Lacny on Saturday.

“He is a quality player and the deal is done. We’re just waiting for his papers and it might be three or four games before he makes his debut for us‚” said Vukusic of the 31-year old striker who signed an 18-month deal with Usuthu.

Lacny has played for 12 clubs in Europe including a spell with Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic.

“He’s a No 9; he can score goals and has played for some big clubs in Europe. Maybe he will play in our third game‚” said Vukusic‚ who was delighted to get maximum points away to Bloemfontein Celtic in Usuthu’s last game of the league last year to move three points clear of the relegation quagmire.

Vukusic said AmaZulu have to get something out Saturday’s game.

“We know about their strengths but they also have some weaknesses‚” said Vukusic of second-placed defending champions Sundowns.

“We don’t know which team they will play because they play in a different style if they use certain players. So we’ve analysed everything‚ but what will be important is our performance.”

Sundowns will travel to Moses Mabhida with fond memories having just won the TKO final against Maritzburg United in the same stadium‚ 2-1 in December‚ before drawing 1-1 there against Bidvest Wits in a league encounter.

The Brazilians finished the year on a high note when they beat Algerian side USM Alger 1-0 in a Caf Champions League Group B game in which skipper Hlompho Kekana scored the winner in his historic 300th appearance for the club.

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