make or break
Sparks are bound to fly when Premiership rivals Moroka Swallows engage Bidvest Wits in a do-or-die round of 32 Nedbank Cup match at Olympia Park Stadium tonight at 7.30.
The Clever Boys go into this encounter with some sad memories after they were elbowed out at this stage of Ke Yona by National First Division side Winners Park last season.
Swallows were beaten by Santos in the last-16 stage, but they are hoping to go further in the tournament this time round.
Sibusiso Mahlangu, Wits' captain, said they were gearing themselves for a tough one, adding that their plan was to go as far as possible.
"Cup games are difficult, we will have to work hard to achieve our mission to ensure that we also attend the last 16 draw on Thursday."
Lefa Tsutsulupa, the exciting Swallows midfielder, says they will vent their anger on Wits after losing 1-0 to AmaZulu at the same venue last Wednesday.
"Wits have assembled a great team, it will be dangerous for us to underestimate them. It's been a long time since we won silverware - we are targeting Ke Yona."
Tsutsulupa and his teammates arrived in Rustenburg yesterday around lunch time to acclimatise to the hot conditions.
The champions of the tournament, regarded by soccer devotees as South African football's version of the English FA Cup, will pocket a cool R6 million.
A win will also go a long way towards building the morale of Swallows in their league campaign after their title hopes took a nosedive because of a series of poor results.
But it is the norm that teams rise to the occasion in cup matches, and the two will go for the jugular tonight.
Both sides go into tonight's contest at full strength after their officials announced a clean bill of health yesterday.
The influential Tsutsulupa is a player who can ensure that the Birds fly to the next round of the event.
They also have Sandile Ndlovu up front, whose partnership with the speedy David Radebe can be deadly.
Roger de Sa's Wits, who beat Swallows 1-0 in the first round of the Premiership, will pin their hopes on the likes of Bienvenu Tipa, Ashraf Hendricks and Phikolethu Spelman.
l In another cup match billed for tonight at Athlone Stadium at 7.30, Santos will entertain amateur side Milano United.
The People's Team reached the quarterfinals last season where they were kicked out by Free State Stars.
Santos go into this match as favourites following their recent good run in the league.
l In the last match of the round, Limpopo-based Peace Lovers will host fellow second division side from Northern Cape, Real Madrid, at Peter Mokaba Stadium at 7.30pm.
Lovers are guided by legend Jackie "Styles" Ledwaba. Both sides enter the fray on equal footing as they are both on top of their respective logs.