Can AmaTuks upset the Brazilians?

Can AmaTuks upset the Brazilians?
General view of the Nedbank Cup trophy

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Apr 12, 2024. 11:00

University of Pretoria will chase a stunning upset win when they kick-off the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals with a derby against heavyweights Mamelodi Sundowns.

AmaTuks and the Brazilians will meet at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on the evening of Friday 12 April, with the Motsepe Foundation Championship side looking to continue the form which sees them placed just one point from the top of their league, as well as having secured back-to-back wins over top flight opposition in Cape Town Spurs and Moroka Swallows to earn their place in the final eight of the national cup tournament.

However, a Sundowns team which has not suffered an outright domestic loss (their exits in the MTN8 and Carling Knockout were both via penalties) in almost exactly a year (a 2-1 loss to Stellenbosch FC in a Nedbank Cup quarterfinal on 15 April 2023) will be the proverbial mountain to climb for Tuks.

“We’ve got a draw against a very difficult team and of course one of the best teams on the continent,” admitted University of Pretoria coach Tlisane Motaung. “The most important thing is to allow our players an opportunity to be at this stage with the best team to really learn and compete.

“More than anything, they must not put pressure on themselves because our plan is very simple and that is to do things that we feel have been working for us this season.

“We know that on the day, we will have to be very superb and it’s what we are going to work on.”

Saturday sees Stellenbosch FC looking to extend their unbeaten run in official competitions to 21 matches when they welcome SuperSport United (who have managed just one win in their last eight matches across all competitions) to the Danie Craven Stadium, before AmaZulu and Orlando Pirates cross swords at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The Buccaneers will be confident after putting seven goals past another Durban team, Golden Arrows, in the league last weekend, but Usuthu coach Pablo Franco Martin has faith that his charges can build on a 1-0 away win over Cape Town City in their last league outing.

“We are in a process and we know that we are committed to this process. It’s a long term process and we are growing up,” said the Spanish tactician, who will pit his wits against a compatriot in Pirates counterpart Jose Riveiro.

The quarterfinals will be closed out on Sunday at the Mbombela Stadium when TS Galaxy host Chippa United. The Rockets, who famously won this competition in 2018-19 and appeared in the final of the Carling Knockout earlier this season, are targeting a spot in the Nedbank semifinals, according to coach Sead Ramovic.

“We reached the Carling Knockout final and for us, it is just a beautiful thing and if we can now get into the semifinal [of the Nedbank Cup], we know that anything can happen,” said the German.

The four winners will advance into the semifinals, which are scheduled to be played on the first weekend of May.

Nedbank Cup quarterfinal fixtures

Times CAT

Friday 12 April

19:00: University of Pretoria v Mamelodi Sundowns

Saturday 13 April

15:00: Stellenbosch FC v SuperSport United

18:00: AmaZulu FC v Orlando Pirates

Sunday 14 April

15:00: TS Galaxy v Chippa United

Sign in with:  
Sign in to comment
Important information regarding cookies
By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.