Nedbank: Team of Choice face Arrows in last-16 tie

2012-03-13 00:00

MARITZBURG United will face Golden Arrows away in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup. The draw was conducted yesterday in Johannesburg and while United will have been hoping for another home match, a trip to Durban to face their KZN rivals is not the worst possible outcome.

Elsewhere, Mamelodi Sundowns defender Siyanda Xulu said that he was happy his side drew a “competitive” side this time around.

The Brazilians are away to Wits after coming off a much-heralded 24-0 record score win over Kimberley amateurs Powerlines FC last weekend.

“We are satisfied with the draw.” said Xulu yesterday. “I think it’s good for us that we have a competitive team to play against in this round.

“The 24-0 scoreline is all in the past now, really. It’s history.”

The formidable Premiership log leaders have set their sights on a double — the league and the South African FA Cup.

The young Wits outfit come off a 1-0 win over Moroka Swallows on Friday, and were finalists in the Telkom Knockout four months ago.

Meanwhile, the trophy’s defending champions Orlando Pirates were rocked by the news of suspension of their coach Julio Leal earlier in the morning, which could have some effect in their ambition of retaining the trophy.

Pirates have lifted the last four out of the possible five cups on offer in the last two seasons.

They have a tricky home tie against Free State Stars, who beat them in the Premiership earlier this season.

The Buccaneers struggled to a 1-0 win over minnows Ethekwini Coastal on the weekend, while Stars eased their way through with a 4-1 win over Sivutsa Stars.

The Bucs’ arch-rivals and perennial cup favourites Kaizer Chiefs will also have a daunting trip to Limpopo to face Black Leopards.

“It’s definitely a good test,” said Amakhosi captain Itumeleng Khune.

“But fortunately for us, we are familiar with Polokwane and the stadium because we play some of our home games there.”

While Leopards are fighting to survive league relegation this season, they will be encouraged with their recent results. They progressed through to the next stage of the continental Caf Confederations Cup.

Lidoda Duvha totally dominated minnows Blackburn Rovers in the domestic cup’s previous stage in Giyani over the weekend, winning 2-0.

Roses United are the only Third Division side through to this stage of the tournament, and they line up against Santos.

The Bloemfontein outfit will hope that homeground advantage will work in their favour as it did in their stunning 2-0 win over First Divisioners, Bay United, on Sunday.

In other fixtures, Jomo Cosmos tackle Platinum Stars, with United FC hosting SuperSport United.

Witbank Spurs will travel to play the winner of the AmaZulu and Ajax Cape Town clash. The fixture had to be abandoned because of a waterlogged Moses Mabhida pitch in Durban on Sunday, and is set to be replayed this evening in KwaMashu.

The dates and venues of the last 16 matches will be confirmed later this week by the Premier Soccer League.


Nedbank Cup last 16 fixtures:

Wits v Mamelodi Sundowns

Golden Arrows v Maritzburg United

AmaZulu / Ajax Cape Town v Witbank Spurs

Black Leopards v Kaizer Chiefs

Roses United FC v Santos FC

Jomo Cosmos v Platinum Stars

Orlando Pirates v Free State Stars

United FC v SuperSport United.

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