Last season’s Nedbank Cup final remains one of those football events that will never be forgotten in South Africa football history.
GladAfrica Championship side TS Galaxy beat Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 through a 93rd minute penalty goal by Zakhele Lepasa. It was the first time a lower division team beat a top-flight side in the Nedbank Cup final.
It was also a match that cast doubts over the Chiefs squad, management and their re-appointment of Ernst Middendorp at the time.
Many expected the ‘Glamour Boys’ to fall apart the following season and continue their League and cup struggles. Yet, Amakhosi responded in the best way possible – by winning matches and setting League records in the first few months of the season.
The Cup tie is a welcome break from a grueling title race that has seen Chiefs lead cut down to just four points.
With that said, they still must win their next four Nedbank Cup ties to win this particular Cup, starting with an away visit to Highlands Park in the Round of 16 at Makhulong Stadium this afternoon at 15:00.
0 – Kaizer Chiefs have never lost to Highlands Park, winning five and drawing just one of their six encounters with them since 2016.
6 – Chiefs have already scored 6 goals against Highlands Park in the League this season (three goals both home and away), their joint-highest against a single opponent in all competitions this season (6 also v Cape Town City).
They may find the going tough this time however as Owen da Gama’s men have tightened up at the back since a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Stellenbosch FC on 11 January.
OTHER MATCHES: NEDBANK CUP LAST 32
There will be two non-top-flight sides in the quarter finals.
3 – The record number for lower division sides reaching the Nedbank Cup quarter finals since the Cup was renamed in 2008 is three, (2008 and 2009). Last season, there were also two non top-flight sides in the Last 8.
Happy Warriors v TS Sporting
2 – Happy Warriors are the second ABC Motsepe side still in the competition (after Amavarara were knocked out by Black Leopards last night), while TS Sporting are the third GladAfrica side remaining in the competition.
Mbombela United v Real Kings
1 – Mbombela have won just once in their last 5 matches against Real Kings in the GladAfrica Championship, drawing one and losing the other three.
Bloemfontein Celtic v Maritzburg United
2 – Maritzburg have lost just 2 of the 20 matches they’ve played against Celtic in the last ten seasons, winning nine and drawing the other nine. Maritzburg have also progressed on all three occasions they met in Cup ties.
SUNDAY 23 FEBRUARY
Baroka v Hungry Lions
1 – Baroka have won two games at home in the first two months of the year, more than they won throughout all of last year (1).
They face an ABC Motsepe (Northern Cape) league side who are unbeaten in all 17 league games this year, one of five regional sides remaining unbeaten in South Africa’s top three divisions.
Mamelodi Sundowns v Vaal University of Technology
On paper, this is a tie reminiscent of the famous Sundowns vs Powerlines FC match, where Masandawana won 24-0 in the Nedbank Cup Last 32 in 2012.
The defending PSL champions host the only 4th division side remaining in the competition.
19 – Sundowns have lost just once in their last 19 games in all competitions (1-0 v Pirates), drawing four and winning the other 14, a record going back to November 2019.
4 – Vaal University of Technology are the only 4th tier team remaining in the Nedbank Cup competition but have already knocked out a top-flight side in Golden Arrows.
Bidvest Wits v Chippa United
1 – Wits have lost just once against Chippa in their last ten games, winning five and drawing on four occasions. They’ve met once in the Nedbank Cup (2019), a match that ended 3-3 with Chippa progressing on penalties.
By Opta Jabu