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.
Can Igesund Eliminate His Old Club?
On Saturday SuperSport travel down to Cape Town to take on Ajax in a game that looks finely balanced. They sit neck-and-neck on the PSL table, just inside the top eight, and, although both sides have suffered from indifferent form this season, they have put themselves in a good position to win some silverware. Since Gordon Igesund took over from Cavin Johnson last September, the results and performances haven’t always been totally convincing. As is the nature of football, there have been lows and highs throughout the season. Conceding five to bottom-of-the-table AmaZulu has been contrasted with big victories over Chiefs and Pirates. With Bloem Celtic’s recent humiliation of a title-chasing Sundowns side, Igesund can rest easy knowing that he is not the only ex-Bafana coach to reach the magic number this season.
Gordon and Pitso Mosimane have traded jobs so many times it now looks like they have moved on to trading embarrassing score-lines. Many neutrals will be looking forward to a cup final between the PSL’s only real ‘five-star’ managers but, before we get ahead of ourselves, Igesund has to get his side to do a job down in Cape Town.
Remember, Guys, Cup Games Are Pointless
Apart from a slip-up against the Amakhosi by a solitary goal back in October, Ajax have been pretty much unbeatable at home this season. Whether games are played in Athlone or in Greenpoint, a match at one of their home grounds generally results in all three points going to the team in red and white.
Come Saturday, we can be sure that at least one or two players out there will be on the prowl for those precious points – after all, our PSL stars do tend to forget altogether that cup games are ‘pointless’. Punch Masenamela was once deservedly awarded the prestigious ‘moemish of the week’ award after harping on about the importance of going for all three points in the Nedbank Cup. We do, however, hope that De Sa and Igesund (who are not always the most attack-minded coaches) take on board Punch’s sentiments and attempt to pick up those priceless cup points! In Riyaad Norodien, Keagan Dolly and Tashreeq Morris the Urban Warriors have young forward-thinking players who will hopefully look to do just that.
What do you think will be the outcome of this fixture? Don't forget to look at the second preview on Fan Park for Sundowns - Vasco Da Gama.