Siyanda Xulu confident of winning first PSL cup competition with Maritzburg United

The central defender is aware that Free State Stars are experienced in cup finals, but banks on their unity as a team

Maritzburg United defender Siyanda Xulu says he will go out to help the Team of Choice bag the Nedbank Cup trophy this weekend.

United will face Free State Stars on Saturday evening at the Cape Town Stadium, and the former Kaizer Chiefs defender wants to win his first gold medal as a professional player.

Having played in cup finals for Mamelodi Sundowns and Amakhosi, Xulu says it is time he won a cup final because he previously failed to do so with the two PSL giants.

Having defeated the 2017/18 Premier Soccer League champions to reach the final, the former FC Rostov centre-back, whom he lifted the Russian Cup with in 2014, says they will play as a unit against Ea Lla Koto.

“I’ve been to three Cup finals in the PSL during my time with Sundowns and Chiefs,” said Xulu to IOL.

“But I still haven’t been on the winning side. I’m hoping for fourth time lucky I am feeling confident, though,” he continued.

“When I arrived at Maritzburg, they were already a united squad,” said the defender.

“They had the machine going already and I just had to come in and add value to what they were already doing. There is a great work ethic here and it’s [all] credit to the technical team of the club,” he reacted.

“The team always plays with good structure and the information we get with regard to the game plan is always implemented on the field,” he noted.

Speaking about Luc Eymael’s men, who defeated the Soweto giants to book their spot in the final, the defender admitted that Stars are an experienced outfit.

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“Stars are a hardworking, experienced side. They have played in finals before. I think there are about six or seven of them who have experience of Cup finals. So, they know how to go about such big games,” he acknowledged.

“What is going to be important is for us to match them for hard work. They are also a pressing, aggressive team, and we have to make sure that we match them for aggression,” warned the Durban-born player.

“But, while Stars have their strengths, we have to stick to our own game and what has worked for us this season. We have to continue to use our combination play and always focus on what we have to do,” concluded the 26-year-old.