Ned­bank Cup could see mighty tum­ble

DAVID VS GO­LIATH

Sunday World - - World Of Sport - KGOMOTSO SETHUSHA

EGOS could shat­ter as up­sets might be the or­der of the day when the ex­cit­ing Ned­bank Cup re­turns this week.

Can we ex­pect an­other Baroka FC phoenix-like rise from the ashes in the 32-team Ned­bank Cup tour­na­ment this sea­son?

The tour­na­ment, the lo­cal ver­sion of the English FA Cup, of­fers lower-tier and semi-pro­fes­sional teams unique op­por­tu­ni­ties to mea­sure them­selves against il­lus­tri­ous PSL sides. On the David ver­sus Go­liath

“” theme, the Ned­bank Cup has, over the last four sea­sons, pro­vided ex­cite­ment and dis­ap­point­ment in al­most equal mea­sure.

This is to be ex­pected when Vo­da­com League min­nows at­tempt gi­ant-killing acts on es­tab­lished PSL and first di­vi­sion sides.

The first of such fix­tures, sees a clash be­tween Golden Ar­rows and North West Shin­ing Stars, at the King Zwelithini Sta­dium on Satur­day at 8.15pm.

Un­like Ar­rows, the Shin­ing Stars aren t

’ that steeped in his­tory, but they have been carv­ing one out since owner Sello Ntsoko re­lo­cated the team from Rusten­burg to Letl­ha­bile in the North West.

The Stars have tasted the Ned­bank Cup be­fore and so, though they face a moun­tain­ous task against Ar­rows, who boast the likes of Bafana Bafana mid­fielder Than­duyise Khuboni, an up­set can­not be com­pletely ruled out.

Hum­ble back­ground and all, the Stars can be de­scribed as an am­bi­tious lower-tier side, who ll be happy to chalk up a win or

’ two and learn a few lessons play­ing against il­lus­tri­ous sides. We have set “our­selves a tar­get this sea­son and that is to qual­ify for the play-offs,” says club boss Ntsoko.

An­other clash pit­ting a lower-tier side against gi­ants sees lit­tle-known Pow­er­line FC host­ing Mamelodi Sun­downs at the GWK Sta­dium next Sun­day, in a rare North­ern Cape out­ing for Sun­downs.

Mean­while, the leg­endary John Tlale, emerg­ing from the shad­ows, will guide the Free State-based Vo­da­com league team, Roses United, against Polok­wane-based Bay United.

Founded in 2009, Roses have of­ten shone in the lower di­vi­sions, but still strug­gle in the first di­vi­sion play-of fs.

With­out high ex­pec­ta­tions placed on them, Roses will be un­der less pres­sure to win when they host Bay United at Bot­sha­belo Sta­dium on March 11.

No­table fix­tures next week­end fea­ture Bloem­fontein Celtic play­ing Mar­itzburg United at the Harry Gwala Sta­dium on Fri­day night while Kaizer Chiefs will host Cape Town All

Stars. Satur­day: African War­riors v Jomo Cos­mos (Charles Mopeli Sta­dium, 3pm); MP Black Aces v Wit­bank Spurs (Rand Sta­dium, 3pm), Golden Ar­rows v NW Shin­ing Stars (King Zwelithini Sta­dium, 8.15pm); Kaizer Chiefs v Cape Town All Stars (FNB Sta­dium, 8.15pm) Sun­day: Pow­er­lines FC v Mamelodi Sun­downs (GWK Sta­dium, 3pm); Batau FC v Su­pers­port United (AJ Swanepoel Sta­dium, 3pm).

Picture by Gallo Images

AR­ROWS STAR: Mid­fielder Than­duyise Khuboni.

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