Nedbank Cup shifts up a gear

Matome Lebea

Matome Lebea

The Nedbank Cup moves to a higher level as Vodacom Promotional League clubs in eight provinces join the race today after the lower divisions started last month with their fixtures.

The competition is based on the English FA Cup and it dates back to 1971 when it was introduced in the then National Professional Soccer League as the Life Challenge Cup, and was won by Kaizer Chiefs, who beat Orlando Pirates 3-2.

The cup, which features clubs from the amateur and professional leagues, has also been known as the Mainstay Cup, Bob Save Superbowl and Absa Cup before Nedbank took over last season.

The last 32 stage of the current format of the competition includes 16 Premiership clubs, eight National First Division clubs and eight from the amateur ranks.

The ultimate winners take home R6 million and further represent the country in the Confederation of African Football Cup.

All the clubs that qualify for the last 32 will receive R100 000 each.

The inaugural final last season was a David and Goliath battle between Mamelodi Sundowns and Mpumalanga Black Aces (NFD) and the Brazilians emerged 1-0 victors.

Eight provinces will start with their knockout today, with the exception of Northern Cape who will start theirs this weekend.

In Limpopo, Khurishi Mphahlele, Baroka FC's boss is confident that his side will make it two in a row against FC Tebcon who they play against today at Lebowa- kgomo stadium at 3pm.

Mphahlele's confidence is boosted by the fact that his side beat FC Tebcon 1-0 on Sunday in a match at Nirvana stadium.

"Tebcon must just brace themselves for another hiding as the boys want to proceed to the competition's next round," Mphahlele said yesterday.

Tebcon's marketing and communications manager Thandi "Thanayi" Ratau said they will not allow Baroka to humiliate them again.

Today's Fixtures:

Di a Rora v Lephalale Young Killers: Makwarela (3pm); The Dolphins v Hungry Lions: The Dolphins (3pm); Baroka v FC Tebcon: Lebowakgomo (3pm); Z Mathote Elephants v Bahwiti: Mathote sports ground (3pm); Mahwelereng United v Mokopane: Mahwelereng (3pm); Phalaborwa Real Rovers v Modimolle Classic: Namakgale (4pm); Manendze Liverpool v Mighty Seshego (4pm); Peace Lovers v Winners Arsenal: Seshego (6pm).