Premier Soccer League (PSL) log leaders Ajax Cape Town and the ever-improving Santos will face Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates respectively in the last-32 round of the inaugural Nedbank Cup.
The draw involving the Soweto clubs attracted loud applause from the crowd and there was also a huge roar of approval for the R6-million first prize. The announcement was made at Nedbank’s headquarters in Sandton on Monday night.
Chiefs will host the high-flying Ajax while Pirates, who were beaten by Santos just two days ago in a league match in Cape Town, will travel to the Mother City again for this knockout clash. Considering the recent form of the Cape teams, they are certainly favourites for these clashes.
”I’m happy that we have the home-ground advantage, said Santos COO Edries Burton. ”I was not hoping to face any specific team as I’m sure all the clubs involved are determined to make their mark in this competition, and home-ground advantage is definitely a benefit, so I’m pleased with that.
”[Drawing] Pirates after we beat them just seems peculiar but we’ll be ready for them,” the former Santos skipper said with a wry smile.
Another intriguing clash is SuperSport United taking on their city neighbours, Mamelodi Sundowns. SuperSport, like Ajax, are gunning for the league title while Sundowns are struggling to gain momentum in the league, and the United team can be considered favourites for this encounter.
In other clashes featuring PSL teams, Free State Stars host Platinum Stars and Golden Arrows welcome Jomo Cosmos to Durban. The dates set out for the Nedbank Cup last-32 matches are March 12, 14, 15 and 16.
The PSL cup committee will decide the exact times and dates for these clashes later this week.
The complete Nedbank Cup last-32 draw (home team mentioned first):
Mpumalanga Black Aces vs Thanda Royal Zulu
AmaZulu vs Young Ones
Yebo Yes United vs FC AK
Kaizer Chiefs vs Ajax Cape Town
FC Cape Town vs Durban Stars
Golden Arrows vs Jomo Cosmos
Matatiel Professionals vs Bloemfontein Young Tigers
SuperSport United vs Mamelodi Sundowns
Free State Stars vs Platinum Stars
Bidvest Wits vs Winners Park
Inspection FC vs Black Leopards
Santos vs Orlando Pirates
Nathi Lions vs North West Shining Stars
African Warriors vs Moroka Swallows
Ikapa Sporting FC vs Bloemfontein Celtic
Peace Lovers or Classic vs Vasco da Gama — Sapa