The Nedbank Cup has a well-documented history of underdogs or minnows beating the ‘more established teams’ campaigning in the Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship.
From thir-tier side Maluti FET College humiliating Orlando Pirates 4-1 in 2013, 2nd tier teams, AmaTuks and FC Cape Town beating ‘The Mighty’ Kaizer Chiefs 4-3 in 2009 and 2-0 in 2010 respectively, lower divison side ALS Puk Tuwana defeating Platinum Stars 3-2 in 2010 to the current defending champions of the Nedbank Cup TS Galaxy embarrassing Chiefs in the 2019 final.
Starting from, Wednesday, teams competing in the lower league divisions will have an opportunity to register their names into the history books of the Nedbank Cup by potentially producing giant-killing performances.
FARPost looks at teams that will go into their Nedbank Cup games as underdogs.
Despite being the defending champions and winning all their last 5 Nedbank Cup matches, GladAfrica Championship out will go into their clash against PSL side Chippa United away from home on Wednesday evening as underdogs.
Galaxy are struggling in the 2nd tier league in 12th position after 20 games while Chippa will look to continue their resurgence under coach Norman Mapeza, who has since taken the team out of the relegation zone.
The Mpumalanga based ABC Motsepe League outfit was only established in 2018. Passion Fc’s light blue kit and badge have a Manchester City feel to them.
Coach Lizo ‘Disco’ Makua and his passionate boys in their Man City-inspired kit and badge will be hoping to put up a good show against 2nd tier Real Kings at home, Kameelrivier Stadium on Saturday, kickoff at 15:00.
VAAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (VUT)
On paper, Golden Arrows have the easiest of the last 32 draw out of all the PSL sides as they take on 4th tier side VUT in Soweto, Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday, kickoff at 15:30.
VUT will be hoping to make their Nedbank Cup debut in style by becoming one of the many lower league teams to knockout a PSL side. This is the biggest mismatch of the draw and if past results are anything to go by, Steve Komphela’s boys will have their work cut out for them.
Struggling GladAftrica Championship side Royal Eagles will come up against a team PSL that has a history and a habit of losing to lower division sides having been beating 5 times since 2009.
Eagles alongside former Chiefs player in Mpho Khumalo will be backing themselves to become the 6th lower division side to beat ‘Amakhosi’ on Saturday evening at FNB Stadium. Kickoff at 18:00.
The KwaZulu-Natal side is gunning for promotion from the 2nd tier league to the Absa Premiership and have a couple of former players that have played in South Africa’s top-flight football before. Veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe, Thanduyise Khuboni, Siyanda Zwane, Issa Sarr and Sandile Zuke just to name a few.
Uthongathi will be going into their last 32 game against Highlands Park as underdogs but Owen da Gama will be wary of Uthongathi. ‘Lions of the North’ have only progressed into the next round once in 5 appearances in the Nedbank Cup but have actually never won a Nedbank Cup fixture as when advanced they beat AmaZulu on penalties after the game ended in a 1-1 draw in 2019.
Uthongathi will be counting on that, plus their recent good performances in the 2nd tier league and the fact that Highlands lost 3 consecutive games before finally registering a win this past weekend against Baroka.
Lions from the ABC Motsepe League in the Northern Cape will be looking to use their anonymity to their advantage as they tackle GladAfrica Championship side Jomo Cosmos. Lions will be looking to capitalise as Cosmos have bigger issues to worry about, such as avoiding relegation in the 2nd tier league as they are in the drop zone, 15th position after 20 games.
Cosmos have only lost once to a side below them back in 2008, Nathi Lions beat them on penalties. However, Lions do have experience in their squad as Former Celtic player Moses Spandeel is part of the team.
NORTH WEST UNIVERSITY (NWU)
Coached by a former SuperSport United and Feyenoord youth player Netherlands, Karabo Masehela, the ABC Motsepe League side NWU are the current Varsity football champions and have seen the likes of Pirates star player Xola Mlambo come through their ranks.
NWU will take on Black Leopards who have never lost to opposition in a league below them. The university side will look to teach leopards a lesson in football and make history against a Leopards side that has been made it past the last 32 in 8 of their previous 10 matches in the Nedbank Cup. The game will be played at Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday. kickoff at 15:00.
The last time Cape Town City travelled to Mpumalanga to play a team in the lower division, they suffered a shocking 1-0 defeat at the hands of minnows Acornbush United in 2017. That defeat will still be fresh on their minds as they will take on GladAfrica Championship side, Mbombela United at Kanyamazane Stadium on Sunday, kickoff scheduled for 15:00.
ZIZWE UNITED/HAPPY WANDERERS
A clash that will see ABC Motsepe sides lock norms with one guaranteed a spot in the next round of the Nedbank Cup.
KwaZulu-Natal’s Happy Wanderers, who are making a return as they last appearance in 2018 will take on fellow 3rd tier side Zizwe United from Nyanga in Cape Town. Zizwe will be making their debut.
Wanderers will go into this clash as favourites having played in the last 32 before, losing to provincial rivals Royal Eagles 1-0 in 2018. The encounter is set to take place at Athlone Stadium on Tuesday, 11 February. Kickoff at 19:30.
ABC Motsepe side Amavarara from Komani in the Eastern Cape will be making their debut in the Nedbank Cup Last 32 as they were drawn against Free State side Super Eagles.
Amavarara come into this encounter at the back of a win against Tede United Brothers from the SAB Reginal league in the Nedbank qualifying stages. Eagles have played the last 2 editions of the Nedbank Cup last 32 losing 2-1 to eventual champions Free State Stars in 2018 and Celtic in 2019 by the same score line. They will be looking to get past the Last 32 for the first time.
The game will be played on Saturday at Sisa Dukashe Stadium. Kickoff at 15:00.
The lower league teams head into their Nedbank Cup last 32 encounters with nothing to lose and they are closed books as PSL teams don’t know exactly what to expect or plan for in terms of playing style, areas of concern and tactics while the lower league sides have the benefit of watching the PSL teams on Tv.
By FARPost Reporter