Kaizer Chiefs suffered a humiliating 2-1 loss against first division high-flyers Richards Bay on Sunday afternoon.
Second-half substitute Siyabonga Vilane scored a dramatic injury-time winner to compound more misery to the out of sorts Soweto giants.
With their shock elimination, Amakhosi became the first giant to fall in this year’s Ke Yona tournament, which is an all-PSL affair due to the suspension of amateur football.
The defeat was reminiscent of their 4-3 loss to AmaTuks in the same competition 11 years ago.
In Sunday’s game at FNB Stadium, Richards Bay were in control of the clash for the longest time, having taken the lead in the 29th minute through a header from defender Austin Dube.
Chiefs equalised through Leonardo Castro in the 77th minute.
With the match looking like it was headed for extra-time, the Richards Bay players had other ideas when they launched an attack that resulted in the winner.
Vilane latched onto a rebound after Thabo Maphakisa’s shot had initially hit the upright.
The GladAfrica Championship promotion hopefuls were never going to be pushovers as they are tied at the summit of the second tier league with Sekhukhune United.
The Natal Rich Boys demonstrated with their polished performance on Sunday that they have what it takes to compete in the top-flight.
On the flip side, the defeat will arguably go down as Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt’s lowest moment in his debut season at the club.
The former Bidvest Wits coach has already suffered another cup game embarrassment with a 5-0 MTN8 semi-final aggregate loss to rivals Orlando Pirates – a result that ranks as their most humiliating result of the season so far.
The early exit from the Nedbank Cup somehow guarantees that Chiefs could finish yet another season without a domestic cup.
Amakhosi only have the DStv Premiership to play for in the local programme where they are still off the pace from the pace setters.
Interestingly, Chiefs are still in the running for the CAF Champions League where they have qualified for the group stages.
They will depart for Morocco this week to start their campaign in the group phase of the premier continental club competition against Casablanca-based giants Wydad Athletic on Saturday.