Cape Town - While fellow lower division outfits found the going tougher against fancied opponents in the Nedbank Cup last 32, Natal United etched their name amongst in football folklore.
Read: Bucs v Matsatsantsa in Nedbank Cup Last-16
They are hoping to replicate this form when they face Lamontville Golden Arrows in the Nedbank Cup last 16 stages. This follows the Nedbank Cup last 16 draw held in Johannesburg on Thursday afternoon.
There were a few other surprises in the last 32 stages but the so-called ‘Big Guns’ all side-stepped tricky first round ties, though Chippa United were not the only top-flight club to lose to lower league opposition. AmaZulu gifted bragging rights to Durban rivals Lamontville Golden Arrows, this season competing in the National First Division (NFD) following a 2-1 loss with veteran striker Mabhuti Khenyeza in inspirational form for Abafana Bes’thende.
Ajax Cape Town set a new club record as they thumped Northern Cape fourth-tier side Mainstay United 9-1 to post their biggest ever victory as a professional club since their formation in 1999.
“The Nedbank Cup never fails to deliver on action and drama. For some the dream is over, for others it lives on and we are proud to have been able to provide this platform to the likes of Natal United and give them one of the greatest days of their football lives so far,” said Sydney Nhlanhla Mbhele, Divisional Executive for Group Marketing at Nedbank.
There were two hat-tricks in this year’s Last 32 – Siphelele Mthembu plundered three for Kaizer Chiefs as they defeated fourth-tier Edu Sports 4-0 and new Black Leopards loan signing Roggert Nyundu continued his dream start with Lidoda Duvha as he scored three in a 6-2 win over fellow NFD side FC Cape Town.
BidVest Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs rolled back the years to show his quality as he put in a Man of the Match display in the penalty shoot-out win over Free State Stars. Josephs was outstanding in the 120 minutes and then saved in the shoot-out to lead last year’s finalists into the Last 16.
Defending champions Orlando Pirates eased past third-tier Tornado FC 4-0 to keep alive their hopes of retaining the coveted title they won last May.
The 16 remaining sides are now one step closer to the R7-million first prize, but for those sides ousted in the first round, the experience and exposure that the Nedbank Cup provides has been invaluable.
Matches will commence from 18 to 22 March. Venues, kick-off times and ticket information will be announced in due course by the PSL.