3/18/2024 12:00:00 AM

Tasty ties in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals

PIC: Ben Motshwari of AmaZulu (right) is challenged by Thabang Monare of Orlando Pirates

The quarterfinal draw for the Nedbank Cup has thrown up a local derby and one of the classic fixtures in South Africa football as the teams learn their fate for the ties set to be staged between April 10-14.
Here is a quick guide to the four ties.

Steve Barker vs Gavin Hunt, two grizzly coaches who have been around the block and will certainly know the path to victory, it is just of their players can take them there. Stellies striker Iqraam Rayners will play against his former side having endured a tough spell with SuperSport, before returning to the Cape Winelands in January last year and starting to bang in the goals again. He scored a brace at this stage last season to knockout another Tshwane side, Mamelodi Sundowns. This also pits the teams placed third (SuperSport) and fourth (Stellenbosch) on the DStv Premiership table, who are locked in a battle for CAF Champions League football. Matsatsantsa have enjoyed the better of the contests between these sides down the years, including a 2-1 win at Stellenbosch earlier this season in August. The reverse fixture finished 1-1 last month as Rayners equalised for Stellies after Bradley Grobler’s opener. Stellies are the only side left in the Nedbank Cup last-8 that have never reached the final. They came close last season when they made the semis but lost on penalties to Sekhukhune United.

The home draw could be crucial here for Galaxy, who are not great travelers but can be formidable on their own patch in the Mpumalanga province. That being said, their two previous Nedbank Cup games this season have both been away wins – 2-1 at Lamontville Golden Arrows in the Last 32and 3-0 at third-tier D’General in the Last 16. Galaxy stunned south African football when, as a second-tier side they lifted the trophy in 2019, beating Ernst Middendorp’s Kaizer Chiefs in the final in Durban. This is the first time they have been back to the quarterfinals since and are looking to make up for a defeat in the final of the Carling Knockout earlier this campaign. Chippa were finalists in 2021 but lost 1-0 to TTM and have battled against Galaxy down the years. The Rockets lead the head-to-head 4-2 with three draws. At home, Galaxy have three wins and a single loss. The teams have already met twice in the league this season, drawing 0-0 in the Eastern Cape before Galaxy won 2-0 at home in December.

A Tshwane Derby and the third time so far this season that Mamelodi Sundowns have been drawn against second-tier opponents. They have won all 20 of their previous ties against teams from outside the topflight, scoring 73 goals in that time and conceding only five, showing the mammoth task at hand for AmaTuks. Sundowns are the only side to have won the Nedbank Cup in its current guise four times and have already scored eight goals in two games this term. They beat NB La Masia 6-1 in the Last 32 and Maritzburg United 2-0 in the Last 16. AmaTuks have already dumped two DStv Premiership teams out this season, though neither are anywhere near the quality of Sundowns. They beat Cape Town Spurs 1-0 in the Last 32 and Moroka Swallows 2-1 in the Last 16. They also reached the quarterfinals in 2022 but lost 3-2 to Royal AM. AmaTuks and Sundowns have met on 10 previous occasions, with Sundowns winning seven to go with three draws. AmaTuks have yet to break their duck. The last clash was in 2026.


AmaZulu against Orlando Pirates is one of the oldest fixtures in the South African game and has been a staple on the calendar since the 1970s. Pirates are the defending champions in this competition having beaten Sekhukhune United in the final last season, while Usuthu have been to six finals before, the last in 2010, and never lifted the trophy. That is a lot of heartache to endure. AmaZulu are in fact in their first quarterfinal since 2012, a barren run of 12 years that is hard to explain. They face topflight opposition for the third time this season having seen off Royal AM 1-0 in the Last 32 and Sekhukhune United 2-0 in the Last 16. They have not lost a Nedbank Cup tie outright since they were beaten 1-0 by Pirates in the first round in 2022. The teams played to a 0-0 draw in Durban in October but before that Pirates won four of the previous five games (D1). AmaZulu’s last win against them was all the way back in 2013. Their previous home win was 2009. This is a tie that pits together two Spanish coaches, Pablo Franco from Usuthu and Pirates’ Jose Riveiro, who helped his side to the Nedbank Cup title last season.

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