3/14/2024 12:00:00 AM

AmaZulu into first Nedbank Cup quarterfinal since 2012

PIC: Junior Dion (right) celebrates his goal with teammate Augustine Mulenga

AmaZulu breezed into the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup following a 2-0 victory at last year’s finalists Sekhukhune United in their Last 16 clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Thursday.

AmaZulu took the lead in somewhat controversial circumstances. A scramble in the Sekhukhune box resulted in a defender hacking the ball clear, but as he did so it struck the outstretched arm of Sede Dion and rebounded into the net. The Ivorian may say it was not intentional and he could not get his arm out the way, but it was in an outstretched position and the deflection led directly to the goal. Dion does love a strike in the Nedbank Cup, that is his fifth in eight appearances (four starts).  

The first one may have been unlucky for Sekhukhune, but AmaZulu’s second was an absolute gift from the home side. They were trying to play out from the back but goalkeeper Renaldo Leaner took a heavy touch and that allowed Victor Letsoalo to close him down. The striker stole the ball and was able to break clear, scoring into an empty net with the keeper hanging his head and hoping the ground would open and swallow him up. Letsoalo had gone one day shy of a year without a goal, but now has two in two games after he also netted against SuperSport United in the league at the weekend. Ironically, Letsoalo played all five games for Sekhukhune last season as they reached the final, scoring against Cape Town Spurs in the Last 16.

AmaZulu are into their first Nedbank Cup quarterfinal since 2012, a year in which they reached the semis but lost to SuperSport United. This is just their fourth Nedbank Cup win since then and their biggest since they defeated second-tier United FC 2-0 in the Last 32 in 2014. Usuthu reached the quarters four times in five years between 2008 and 2012 (two semifinals, one final), so it has been a long wait for them.      

Sekhukhune had been on a long unbeaten run of eight games (W4 D4) before this one, but never really got out of first gear. They were also unbeaten at home since October (W6 D5), so it was a surprise result in many ways. Maybe especially so as AmaZulu had only won three of their last 27 (D13 L11) away games in all competitions. All the signs were this would be a home win.    

AmaZulu have reached six finals of the Nedbank Cup and its predecessors, the last in 2010. But they have lost every one and are yet to lift the trophy. It seems almost cruel to have reached that many deciders and come away with nothing on each occasion. Fourteen years ago they lost 3-0 to BidVest Wits in the final, though the match was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests.    



Wednesday, March 13
University of Pretoria 2 
(Mohlamonyane 58’, Sibanyoni 90’) Moroka Swallows (Mbanjwa 79’)


Thursday, March 14
Sekhukhune United 0 AmaZulu FC 2
(Dion 26’, Letsoalo 62’)




Friday, March 15
19h00: Milford FC vs Stellenbosch FC – Princess Magogo Stadium


Saturday, March 16
15h00: Chippa United vs FC Ravens – Buffalo City Stadium

15h00: Richards Bay vs SuperSport United – King Zwelithini Stadium
18h00: Orlando Pirates vs Hungry Lions – Orlando Stadium


Sunday, March 17

15h00: D’General vs TS Galaxy – Free State Stadium
18h00: Mamelodi Sundowns vs Maritzburg United – Lucas Moripe Stadium




Matches Played: 18

Goals Scored: 45

Biggest Victory: Crystal Lake 0 Orlando Pirates 6 (February 24, Last 32)

Most Goals in a Game: 7 – NB La Masia 1 Mamelodi Sundowns 6 (February 20, Last 32)



3 goals –
 Gaston Sirino (Mamelodi Sundowns)

2 – Thulani Gumede (Richards Bay), Tapelo Xoki (Orlando Pirates)

1 – Delano Abrahams (University of Pretoria), Emilio Abreu (Highlands Park), Shandre Campbell (SuperSport United), Bantu Chingi (Maritzburg United), Katlego Cwinyane (Hungry Lions), Leandro de Sousa (Pretoria Callies), Sede Dion (AmaZulu), Pule Ekstein (AmaZulu), Matias Esquivel (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bienvenu Eva Nga (Chippa United), Justice Figuareido (Richards Bay), Kayden Francis (Chippa United), Fuad Johnson (NB La Masia), Victor Letsoalo (AmaZulu), Tshegofatso Mabasa (Orlando Pirates), Lebogang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns), Tladi Makhetha (D'General), Douglas Mapfumo (Polokwane City), Terrence Mashego (Mamelodi Sundowns), Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates), Tholo Matuludi (Polokwane City), Khanyisa Mayo (Cape Town City), Lwanda Mbanjwa (Moroka Swallows), Relebohile Mofokeng (Orlando Pirates), Tebogo Mohlamonyane (University of Pretoria), Lehlohonolo Mojela (TS Galaxy), Lehlohonolo Morobi (NC Professionals), Nkosibonile Mtolo (FC Ravens), Mpho Mvelase (TS Galaxy), Vuyani Ntanga (Spain FC), Thabang Sibanyoni (University of Pretoria), Charles Sikhosana (D'General), Andiswa Sithole (Maritzburg United), Devin Titus (Stellenbosch FC), Reagan van der Ross (Maritzburg United), Tresor Yamba (Sekhukhune United)

Own goals – Adam Khumalo (Crystal Lake), Solomon Letsoenyo (TS Galaxy)

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