QUICK FACTS: Bloemfontein Celtic vs Mbombela United07/04/2017
- This will be the first ever meeting between National First Division side Mbombela United and top-flight Bloemfontein Celtic.
- Mbombela were given a scare in the last round but eventually defeated SAB Regional League side Days FC 5-2. Inky Masuku (two), Siphephela Khalishwayo, Siyanda Khumalo and Tshidiso Patjie were on target for the Mpumalanga-based side, who were playing away in the Free State.
- Mbombela is coached by the experienced Ashwin Sutton, who took over from Vusi Mkhatshwa in January. They are returning to the Last 16 for the second time having also appeared last year when they were defeated 3-1 by Mamelodi Sundowns.
- Owned by the Matsebula brothers, Oupa and Sikhumbuzo, who are successful local businessmen, United was formed in 2009 when they purchased the status of Mpumalanga SAFA Second Division side Manchester United, renaming the club Mbombela United.
- Coupled with victory over University of Pretoria in the league, the win over Days FC meant Mbombela have completed back-to-back victories for the first time since December and just the second time at all this season.
- Their top scorer this season is former Zambian international Clifford Mulenga, who was voted CAF Young Player of the Year in 2007. He has 10 goals, all in the league.
- Celtic defeated third-tier Buya Msuthu from Rustenburg in the last round with a comfortable 2-0 success. Deon Hotto and Vuyisile Wana got the goals.
- Celtic have just employed a new coach in the form of the Belgian Luc Eymael, who arrived from fellow top-flight side Polokwane City. Eymael had also steered his former club into the Last 16 as they defeated African All Stars 3-1.
- Celtic have three wins and a defeat from their four games in the Nedbank Cup Last 16 since 2008. They claimed an excellent 2-1 victory over Orlando Pirates at this stage of the competition in 2009, but then lost in the next round to second-tier side University of Pretoria. Their only defeat came in 2015 against eventual finalists Ajax Cape Town.
- Celtic have won just two of their 11 home matches this season, scoring six goals in that time and conceding 13.
- Celtic were winners of the Nedbank Cup competition in 1985, the last time they lifted the trophy. Central to that success was club owner Dr Petrus Molemela, who was a stalwart administrator in South African football. Dr Molemela passed away at the age of 83 on March 26.
*The views represented are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of Nedbank.