PSL’s ‘big three’ avoid each other in Nedbank Cup quarter-final draw

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The big three teams in South African football Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, and Mamelodi Sundowns will not be facing each other in the last eight of the Nedbank Cup.

Giant killers Dondol Stars are the only surviving side from the lower divisions. The ABC Motsepe League team will next host Orlando Pirates in the quarter-final of the competition.

All the big three have been drawn to play away fixtures.

The Premier Soccer League and the sponsors are happy that the big guns have avoided each other.

The first to come off the hat was Dondol Stars, a team that many would have loved to avoid. The team from Mamelodi, in Pretoria, has already beaten two teams from the Premier Soccer League division.

In the last 32, they came from behind to beat SuperSport United.

As if that was not enough, they went on to claim the scalp of AmaZulu FC in a penalty shoot-out in the last-16, earning themselves the tag of being giant killers.

Dondol Stars co-coach Vincent Rammoni says, “We don’t love it because it carries a huge amount of pressure in itself. We were here as nobodies, now we are Dondol and we are still humble enough to learn. It’s a great platform for us.”

“We are going to go out there and give out our best performance like we’ve been doing since day one of this competition. We are going to learn as much as we can on how to become one of the biggest teams in the country.”

Orlando Pirates who have a possibility of winning a rare double this season are more than prepared to fight to the bitter end.

Bucs have already beaten two sides from the lower divisions, All Stars and Venda Football Academy to reach the last-8.

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says, “It’s going to be a difficult task. If they are in the last 8, it’s for multiple reasons and they are doing a good job. They showed ]that] they know how to deal with these knockout games in the right way, in many different scenarios.”

“I have to say also, we were already dealing with two lower division teams. So, we need to take that task very seriously because it’s a very important game for us as a club. We are not going to underestimate the opponent in any case.”

Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns have been pitted against a stubborn Stellenbosch FC.

Mamelodi Sundowns first-team coach Steve Komphela says, “We are going to Cape Town with the understanding that what they dished out when we played them, what they dished out when they played TS Galaxy is likely to be what they will be dishing out when we play them.”

“So, we have to be extra careful and be more prepared than before. Because we are the current defending champions. So, we have to make it a point that we defend this trophy and unfortunately, at Sundowns we have to deliver the trophy, and the best eight teams are left now,” adds Komphela.

On the other hand, Kaizer Chiefs who are now under pressure to win a trophy will visit a dangerous Royal AM in Durban.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane says, “I would say you know there’s a lot of positives let alone that we playing against a difficult team, but for the fact that we have reached the quarter-finals after four or five years if I’m not mistaken.”

“The last time we played in the quarter-final was 2018/2019. So, it was very key for us this time around to get to the quarter-finals and proceed to the semi-finals and also go all the way to the final. Yes playing against Royal AM is not going to be an easy one,” adds Zwane.

The dates and the venues for the quarter-finals will be confirmed by the league at a later stage.