Maritzburg shift focus to Nedbank Cup

2019-01-30 06:01
PHOTO: KICKOFFMaritzburg United goalkeeper Richard Ofori.

PHOTO: KICKOFFMaritzburg United goalkeeper Richard Ofori.

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UNSETTLED Maritzburg United and their PSL counterparts turn their attention to knockout football this week as the Nedbank Cup last-32 comes into the spotlight.

The basement-dwelling club from the Midlands get a chance to park their league worries on a temporary basis as they prepare to visit National First Division outfit Witbank Spurs in the lucrative “NBC” that is modelled on the famous English FA Cup.

But, while an unexpected loss to Shakes Mashaba’s men in Mpumalanga on Sunday would not be considered a train smash because of the league situation, under-pressure United coach Muhsin Ertugral understands that victory can boost his team’s confidence for the resumption of “bread and butter” issues in the Absa Premiership next week.

It must also be considered that Ertugral needs to secure the faith of the fans after four consecutive losses since his arrival in Pietermaritzburg, which have contributed to the “Team of Choice” sitting on a club record 13-match winless run at present.

These ugly figures forced club boss Farook Kadodia to start holding one-on-one talks with the coaching and playing staff this week in the hope of a solution being found and the relegation axe shifted away from their necks.

Said the team’s goalkeeper Richard Ofori on Tuesday: “We start the Nedbank Cup afresh, and we try to do our best in each and every game.

“Every game is important to the club and fans, so we have to take the opposition seriously all the time. If you dwell on what happened yesterday, you won’t make any progress.

“You need to be brave because any opposition wants to score goals against you.”

The knockout action started yesterday and runs until next Tuesday.

It involves the 16 top-flight clubs, eight from the First Division and eight from the amateur ranks.

The feature matches all come on Saturday with a sprinkling of former champions — Mamelodi Sundowns away to Chippa United, Orlando Pirates­ away to Black Leopards, and SuperSport­ United away to Cape Town City.

The 16 losing teams in this round will be consoled with a cheque for R100 000 each from the sponsors.

The eventual champions of the competition will receive a whopping R7 million again this year, which Maritzburg missed out on last May when they were edged by Free State Stars in the final in Cape Town.




Polokwane City v TTM — 7.30 pm

Bidvest Wits v Boyne Tigers — 7.30 pm


Cape Umoya v Tshwane Univ. of Tech. — 3 pm

AmaZulu v Highlands Park — 8 pm


Chippa Utd v Mamelodi Sundowns — 3 pm

Umvoti v TS Galaxy — 3 pm

Free State Stars v Richards Bay — 3 pm

Black Leopards v Orlando Pirates — 6 pm

Tjakastad Jnr Shepherds v Golden Arrows — 8.15 pm

Cape Town City v SuperSport Utd — 8.15 pm


Mbombela Utd v NC Professionals — 3 pm

Tornado v Kaizer Chiefs — 3 pm

Witbank Spurs v Maritzburg Utd — 3 pm

Super Eagles v Bloem Celtic — 3 pm

Next Tuesday, January 29

Maccabi v The Magic FC — 7.30 pm

Baroka v Jomo Cosmos — 7.30 pm


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