Soccer

24-0 now 'history' for 'Downs

2012-03-12 21:32
Siyanda Xulu (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns defender Siyanda Xulu said that he was happy that his side drew a "competitive" side this time around in the Nedbank Cup.

The Brazilians are away to Wits in the last 16 stage of the competition.

They come off a much-heralded 24-0 record win over amateurs, Powerlines FC, in Kimberley on March 4.

"We are satisfied with the draw," said Xulu on Monday.

"I think it's good for us that we have a competitive team to play against in this round.

"The 24-0 scoreline is all in the past now, really. It's history."

The formidable Premiership log leaders have set their sights on a double - the league and the South African FA Cup.

" We are looking ahead," Xulu said.

"We are aiming at winning this cup and the league at the end of this campaign.

The young Wits outfit come off a 1-0 win over Moroka Swallows on Friday, and were finalists in the Telkom Knockout four months ago.

Meanwhile, the trophy's defending champions Orlando Pirates were rocked by the news of suspension of their coach Julio Leal earlier in the morning, which could have some effect in their ambition of retaining their trophy.

Pirates have lifted the last four out of the possible five cups on offer in the last two seasons.

They have a tricky home tie against Free State Stars, who beat them in the Premiership earlier this season.

The Buccaneers struggled to a 1-0 win over minnows Ethekwini Coastal on the weekend, while Stars eased their way through with a 4-1 win over Sivutsa Stars.

"They beat us in the league, but this being a cup will be a different ball game, I believe," said winger Dikgang Mabalane.

"We are also at home and will aim at progressing through to the quarter-finals."

Their arch-rivals and perennial cup favourites, Kaizer Chiefs will also have a daunting travel to Limpopo to face Black Leopards.

"It's definitely a good test," said Amakhosi captain Itumeleng Khune.

"But fortunately for us, we are familiar with Polokwane and the stadium because we play some of our home games there."

While Leopards are fighting to survive league relegation this season, they will be encouraged with their recent results.

They progressed through to the next stage of the continental CAF Confederations Cup.

Lidoda Duvha totally dominated minnows Blackburn Rovers in the domestic cup's previous stage in Giyani over the weekend, winning 2-0.

Roses United are the only Third Division tier side through to this stage of the tournament, and line up against Santos.

Though, the Bloemfontein outfit will hope that home ground advantage will work in their favour as it did in their stunning 2-0 win over First Divisioners, Bay United, on Sunday.

"I'm still proud of the fact that we are the only Vodacom League team at this stage," said their coach in former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, John Tlale.

"We are playing at home as well, and don't think we'll treat this match any different to the one against Bay."

In other fixtures, Golden Arrows meet Maritzburg United, Jomo Cosmos tackle Platinum Stars, with United FC hosting SuperSport United.

Witbank Spurs will travel to play the winner of the AmaZulu and Ajax Cape Town clash.

The fixture had to be abandoned because of a waterlogged pitch in Durban on Sunday, and is set to be replayed on Tuesday evening in KwaMashu.

The dates and venues of the last 16 matches will be confirmed later this week by the Premier Soccer League.

Read more on:    nedbank cup  |  siyanda xulu
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