Gaston Sirino’s superb strike 10 minutes from time handed Mamelodi Sundowns their third Nedbank Cup trophy win as they claimed a 1-0 success over Bloemfontein Celtic at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
It was billed as the most unusual Nedbank Cup decider with no fans in the stands due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that did not detract from what was a thoroughly absorbing contest and a fitting end to the longest ever Nedbank Cup campaign that ran to some 220 days. The victory follows success for Sundowns in 2008 and 2015, and completes a ‘Treble’ of trophy wins for the Tshwane giants this season after they also claimed the Premiership and League Cup. It was disappointment for Celtic, who were appearing in a first ever Nedbank Cup decider, and had their moments to score, but could not claim a famous win.
This was the year that history was made as National First Division side TS Galaxy defied the odds to become the first ever second-tier side to lift the Nedbank Cup.It was not uncommon for teams from the NFD to make the final – Mpumalanga Black Aces, Moroka Swallows and Black Leopards had all done it in the previous 11 years.
But none had gone on to win and it was Galaxy who would write their names into football folklore as striker Zakhele Lepasa, on loan from Orlando Pirates, struck a late penalty to beat Kaizer Chiefs in the final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
It was a massive history, but fully deserved for the Dan Malesela-coached side, who had been inspirational through the competition, also seeing off top-flight opposition in the semifinals as they defeated Lamontville Golden Arrows 3-1.Chiefs had scares in the first two rounds when they needed extra-time to defeat ABC Motsepe League sides Tornado FC (1-0) and The Magic (3-0), while Orlando Pirates fell in the Last 32 on penalties to Black Leopards.
Chippa United ousted Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 in the Last 32 and made it all the way to the semifinals before they lost 4-2 to Chiefs.
Top-flight Polokwane City lost out to second-tier fellow Limpopo side TTM in the first round, letting a lead slip to go down 2-1.
Free State Stars made history when they lifted the Nedbank Cup for the first time, beating fellow surprise finalists Maritzburg United in a dazzling decider at the Cape Town Stadium.Goodman Dlamini scored the only goal of the game just before halftime to secure the trophy for Stars, who also booked a place in African club competition for the first time in their history.
Stars had been looking as though they would head out of the competition in the first round as they trailed second-tier Super Eagles into injury-time but Rooi Mahamutsa rescued the situation and they went on to win in extra-time.They also overcame NFD side Ubuntu Cape Town in a penalty shoot-out and giants Kaizer Chiefs in the semi-finals.
In a tournament of few shocks, Ubuntu proved the giant-killers in their first season as a club, beating both top-tier Polokwane City and AmaZulu on their way to the quarterfinals, where they were narrowly defeated by Stars.It was also a tournament notable for a goal by former Nedbank Ke Yona Team graduate Bongi Mbuli, who scored for Super Eagles against Stars in their Last 32 clash.
SuperSport United became the first side to win back-to-back Nedbank Cup titles as they again defeated Orlando Pirates in the decider, this time thumping The Buccaneers 4-1 in the decider played in Durban.
It was a repeat of the 2016 final, but this time was more one-sided as SuperSport might have claimed victory by an even greater margin.
Bradley Grobler scored a brace for Matsatsantsa, while Jeremy Brockie, the tournament’s joint top-scorer with three goals, and Kingston Nkhatha were also on target.
Brockie also missed a penalty in the game as Oupa Manyisa netted a late consolation for Pirates.
SuperSport had to reach the final the hard way, playing all four of their matches away from home.
They started with a 2-1 victory over National First Division side Royal Eagles, before claiming a 2-0 success over giant-killers Kwadukuza United, with the third-tier side having ousted Ajax Cape Town in the previous round.SuperSport edged their quarterfinal against Kaizer Chiefs on penalties after a 1-1 draw, and then also needed spot-kicks to beat Chippa United as the teams played to a goalless stalemate.
Third-tier Acornbush United also produced a giant-killing act of their own when they beat Cape Town City 1-0 in the Last 32.
NFD side Jomo Cosmos also beat eventual league champions BidVest Wits in the second round.
SuperSport United claimed their second Nedbank Cup title in four years, and their fourth in the competition as a whole, when they defeated Orlando Pirates 3-2 in a pulsating final played at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
Luvoyo Memela gave Pirates an early lead, before Jeremy Brockie, Bradley Grobler and Michael Boxall sent SuperSport into halftime 3-1 up. A Clayton Daniels own goal early in the second period, as well as an injury to first-choice keeper Ronwen Williams, set up a pulsating finish, but Pirates could not grab an equaliser.
The tournament was notable for another magnificent run to the semifinals by Baroka FC, now a National First Division club, before their campaign was ended by SuperSport.
Along the way they defeated Premier League sides Chippa United, Lamontville Golden Arrows and Polokwane City to confirm their status as upset kings.
University of Pretoria’s Ian Chikohwa became the first Nedbank Ke Yona Team graduate to score in the Nedbank Cup when he netted in a 3-3 draw with SuperSport in the Last 16, but his team lost in a penalty shoot-out.
Pirates striker Tendai Ndoro finished as tournament top-scorer with five goals.
Mamelodi Sundowns edged Ajax Cape Town’s youngsters in a penalty shoot-out after the teams had played to a 0-0 draw at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Ajax’s Abbubaker Mobara had the opportunity to win it in the shoot-out, but when he missed, Sundowns held their nerve to claim the title.
It ended a thrilling run by the youthful Cape Town side, that included a 9-1 first round walloping of Mainstay United, and further wins over Bloemfontein Celtic, BidVest Wits and SuperSport United.
Sundowns were workmanlike on their way to the final and defeated National First Division side Vasco da Gama 1-0 in the semifinals.
Kaizer Chiefs had earlier been ousted in the second round by another second-tier side Black Leopards, who won 2-1 for arguably the surprise of the competition.
Orlando Pirates made up for their bitter disappointment the year before by claiming the Nedbank Cup in 2014 by beating BidVest Wits 3-1 in the final.
It was a third final in succession for Gavin Hunt, who had joined Wits from SuperSport at the start of the season.
Jabulani Shongwe had given Wits the lead, before a brace from Kermit Erasmus and another goal for Sifiso Myeni sealed the cup for Pirates.
Pirates had squeezed past first round opponents Thanda Royal Zulu on penalties after a 3-3 draw that will go down as one of the classic cup matches in South African football.
There were also some good old fashioned thumpings in the Last 32 as Bloemfontein Celtic claimed a club record 8-0 victory over University of Stellenbosch, while African Warriors beat Mainstay United 8-3 in another entertaining game.
Moroka Swallows also defeated third-tier Mbombela United 4-3 in first round classic.
Kaizer Chiefs claimed the 2013 Nedbank Cup with a narrow 1-0 victory over defending champions SuperSport United in the final, Bernard Parker grabbing the only goal in extra-time.
Chiefs had defeated National First Division side United FC in the semifinals, the last of the remaining lower league teams in the competition.
The biggest shock of the tournament came when third-tier Maluti FET College from the Free State thumped Orlando Pirates 4-1 in the Last 32, arguably the biggest shock in the history of the Nedbank Cup competition.
Maluti even managed to miss a penalty in the game that would have made the scoreline even more emphatic. The minnow club would go on to lose to National First Division side African Warriors in the next stage.
SuperSport United won an all-Tshwane final as they defeated Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in the decider for a rare cup triumph for coach Gavin Hunt.
Thabo September and Kermit Erasmus scored in each half to hand Matsatsantsa victory and deservedly so as they outplayed their rivals on the day.
SuperSport conceded just a single goal in their final games on their way to lifting the trophy, and that came in the first round against third-tier Batau FC when they scraped through on penalties.
The tournament will also be remembered for the record victory in South African professional football as Sundowns thumped fourth-tier Northern Cape side Powerlines FC 24-0
Brazilians midfielder Hlompho Kekana, regarded as an occasional scorer, grabbed seven goals in the game, while striker Nyasha Mushekwi scored six
The 2011 Nedbank Cup will forever be remembered for the run of third-tier side Baroka FC to the semifinals.
The Limpopo club stunned both Moroka Swallows and Kaizer Chiefs on their way, with coach Sello Chokoe becoming a household name with his distinctive white glove.
That Baroka side lost much of its talent after this tournament, but have continued to go from strength to strength and are on the brink of reaching the Premier Soccer League at the end of this season. And it all started for them in the Nedbank Cup.
They were eventually ousted by National First Division side Black Leopards in the semis, cruelly losing on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
Orlando Pirates would lift the title in the end, defeating Leopards 3-1 in the decider after falling behind to a Mongezi Bobe goal.
Isaac Chansa restored parity before a brace from Thulasizwe Mbuyane sealed the win for The Buccaneers.
The final of the 2010 Nedbank Cup was played at the magnificent new Soccer City, the first competitive fixture to be hosted at the iconic venue that months later would stage the FIFA World Cup final.
BidVest Wits were victorious with a 3-0 success over AmaZulu, who appeared in their six final in the competition, all of which have ended in defeat.
The score may seem one-sided, but it was a tense contest until Wits scored late on and the floodgates opened as Usuthu chased an equaliser.
Brazilian midfielder Fabricio Rodrigues scored to go with a brace from Sifiso Vilakazi to hand Wits the win.
Third-tier ALS Puk Tuwana created one of the shocks of the tournament when they beat Platinum Stars 3-2 with Jabulani Shongwe, who would go on to play for Bafana Bafana and is a current star at Wits, grabbing a brace.
And not to be outdone, National First Division side FC Cape Town defeated Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 in the second round, only to narrowly lose on penalties to wits in the next round.
For the second year running a side from the National First Division made the final of the Nedbank Cup but again they would fall just short.
University of Pretoria had a thrilling cup run that captured the imagination of the country as they defeated Kaizer Chiefs, Bloemfontein Celtic and Ajax Cape Town on their way to a meeting with Moroka Swallows at the Rand Stadium.
They would lose that day 1-0 after a goal from The Birds’ Brazilian midfielder Vinicius Da Silva.
Missing from the final through suspension was their young midfielder Andile Jali, one of a number of players from that side who would go on to stellar professional careers.
Fellow NFD side Black Leopards also made the semifinals but lost 2-1 to Swallows.
Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned champions in Nedbank’s inaugural year of sponsorship after they defeated plucky National First Division side Mpumalanga Black Aces 1-0 in the final.
It took a Lerato Chabangu goal three minutes from time to separate the teams as Black Aces threatened yet another upset with an excellent display in the decider.
Sundowns had a difficult run to the final, defeating Tshwane rivals SuperSport United, Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu along the way, but their quality showed in the end.
It was a good year for the lower league teams, with three NFD sides making the quarterfinals – aside from Black Aces there was also FC Cape Town and Nathi Lions.
The competition was also notable for a 14-0 success for AmaZulu over third-tier Young Ones in the first round. Usuthu striker Dumisani Ngwenya got five goals in the game.