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Nedbank Cup – Can The Underdogs Silence Pitso?

The teams from Jozi are out! First Chiefs were sucker-punched by a late Leopards strike in the Round of 16. Then, at the same stage, Pirates got the Brockie Balboa treatment and failed to get up before the 10-count. Wits managed to make it to the quarter-finals, but stuttered in Cape Town as the Urban Warriors came out swinging. But enough of the boxing metaphors for now! The Nedbank Cup semi-finals are upon us and both games will see a Cape Town-Tshwane showdown, in the semi-final clash of the capitals.

On your Marques!
Vasco da Gama pulled off a thrilling comeback-win to knock out Black Leopards in front of a loud, partisan crowd in Thohoyandou. They sat back in the first period, barely able to get out of their half, as Roggert Nyundu tormented their defence. Vasco’s showing in the second half and extra-time earned Coach Tony De Nobrega a lot of praise as he managed to turn around a game that looked completely out of his hands. It was their second win in Limpopo on their way to the semi-finals, and they will now travel up to Tshwane to face the Brazilians on Sunday. They will be up against a top-quality side who are still reeling from an unexpected walloping and will undoubtedly be out to prove a point. If De Nobrega is able to mastermind another away win, this could turn out to be a great cup-run from one of the so-called ‘smaller clubs’, however in order to do so, one feels Vasco will have to come out of the blocks much faster than they did in Thohoyandou. 

Pitso: “I am [the] sorry [one]”
Pitso Mosimane deserves more respect from the football fraternity and he has recently said as much when he collected the PSL Coach of the Month Award. “I give back to the game. I spend a lot of time in the game. I work very hard and give my life to football. I don't do anything but football.” There is no denying that Mosimane contributes a lot to the beautiful game in this country.

His Sundowns team play the kind of football that gets the best out of our players’ natural, ball-orientated style. He has resuscitated the career of ex-Bafana golden-boy, Teko Modise, and partnered him with the Zimbabwean magician, Khama Billiat, to create the most exciting midfield in the league. His brutally honest remarks, while not universally appreciated, are always interesting to listen to. The apology to the Masandawana faithful and his plea for more understanding might be the manager showing a new side of himself. I think that, once we eventually get over the 'five is the limit' jokes, we will all admit that Mosimane is a necessary presence in the PSL. 

While the title now looks out of reach, lifting the Nedbank Cup would mean that he’d have bagged two major trophies in two years – not bad for the misunderstood manager who some say has the mouth of Money Mayweather and the moods of Mourinho. Time will have to tell if he has the poise and patience of Pacquiao or the vim and vigour of Wenger, qualities needed to bounce back from extreme disappointments.

Who do you think will come out on top – Vasco Da Gama or Sundowns?


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