Pirates v AmaZulu headlines Nedbank Cup action

Pirates v AmaZulu headlines Nedbank Cup action
Mandla Ncikazi assistant coach of Orlando Pirates and Benni McCarthy coach of AmaZulu during the 2021 Nedbank Cup Launch on the 01 February 2022 at The Galleria in Johannesburg / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Feb 04, 2022. 10:00

South Africa’s Nedbank Cup will stage the first seven of its round of 32 fixtures from today until next Tuesday, with the undoubted pick of the matches seeing Orlando Pirates welcome AmaZulu to Soweto on the afternoon of Sunday 6 February.

The eagerly-anticipated all top flight clash sees Usuthu coach Benni McCarthy looking to mastermind a victory over one of his former teams as a player. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, have been inactive in the January transfer window, with co-coach Mandla Ncikazi hinting at some frustration at their lack of reinforcement.

“There is no coach that has ever been happy with the squad, we are always ambitious,” said the Bucs tactician.

“If we had enough resources like others maybe I would bring a [Lionel] Messi to Pirates. Having said that, we are never enough. There are areas that you would wish [to strengthen] but sometimes the timing of bringing players, which I think becomes important in our team, with regards to when and how they bring the players.

“We respect their vision and wisdom on how they do it, but personally I would have loved to have certain players, but we respect the processes on how they do things.”

The round of 32 opens with a pair of matches on Friday 4 February, as University of Pretoria and Chippa United do battle in Tshwane, before runaway DStv Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns face ambitious second-tier team Richards Bay in Durban.

Saturday 5 February sees the top-flight pair of Swallows FC and Golden Arrows looking to avoid defeat at the hands of second-tier opponents TS Sporting and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila respectively.

The action continues into next midweek when minnows African All Stars look to upset second-tier Venda Football Academy in Thohoyandou, before another all Premiership clash as Maritzburg United play host to SuperSport United.

Matsatsantsa coach Kaitano Tembo sees this clash in Pietermaritzburg as a key one for his team’s ambitions and morale for the remainder of the season.

“We haven’t been able to go past the first round of the Nedbank Cup in the past two seasons, so we want to change that. We feel we have an opportunity to fight for the only cup that is left to realistically fight for now,” said the Zimbabwean coach.

The remainder of the Nedbank Cup round of 32 fixtures will be played from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 February.

Nedbank Cup fixtures, 4-9 February

All times CAT

Friday 4 February

15:00: University of Pretoria v Chippa United

18:00: Richards Bay v Mamelodi Sundowns

Saturday 5 February

15:00: Swallows FC v TS Sporting

18:00: Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila v Golden Arrows

Sunday 6 February

15:00: Orlando Pirates v AmaZulu

Tuesday 9 February

15:00: Venda Football Academy v African All Stars

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