Soweto final for Nedbank Cup?

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A Soweto derby for the final of the Nedbank Cup looks possible after Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates avoided being drawn together in the semi-finals. Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Wits coach Gavin Hunt says he will only focus his attention on the Nedbank Cup when the time comes for the semi-finals to take place at the beginning of May.

The cup play-offs will only be played after a rigorous run of Premiership fixtures.

Hunt's troops were drawn as the home side and will host Kaizer Chiefs, while Maritzburg United were pitted against Orlando Pirates in the second semi-final.

“We’ll worry about them (Chiefs) when we get there,” Hunt said after the draw was conducted in Johannesburg on Monday.

“We have a lot of league games to play before then, when we get to this cup game, we’ll worry about it then.”

Wits find themselves in contention to challenge for silverware on two fronts, including the league, and were drawn to face the defending champions in the semi-finals of the country’s final cup competition of the season.

As a result, Hunt said he would “take it one game at a time” and make sure the Clever Boys kept themselves in the mix for the Premiership, as well as the cup, when the time was right.

“It’ll be a big game for us. We play them in the league a couple of days before that, so we play them twice in the matter of a week,” Hunt said.

Currently third in the league standings, Wits are in with a shout for league honours and still have Chiefs to come in a league fixture, before the cup rolls around over the weekend of May 3 and 4.

“Mathematically we’re still in the running and anything is possible, nothing is done and dusted,” he said.

“You can’t pre-empt anything now about that type of team you want to play because of the games we have ahead of us.”

Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter, whose team beat fellow Premiership contenders SuperSport United 2-0 on Saturday to book their place in the semi-finals, admitted Wits would pose a formidable threat.

“Each of the teams that we would have got, would have thrown up a different challenge – each of them difficult,” Baxter said.

“This is going to be a difficult game because Gavin has been organising his team well and they are in a good vein of form.

“We’ve got to make sure that we meet that challenge. We’re here towards the end of the season and we’re in with a chance to defend both our titles 1/8Premiership and cup 3/8, so that’s pleasing.”

Wits have shown their credentials in both competitions, edging Bloemfontein Celtic in the quarterfinals to advance to the penultimate stage, while remaining unbeaten in their last four league appearances.

Heading into a semi-final clash at the back end of a tough run of fixtures, however, could prove a hurdle too high for the Students.

“Semi-finals are always tough and I’ve been in the final the last two years, I know what it’s about,” Hunt said of his last two years at SuperSport.

At the helm of SuperSport he negotiated his way into the last two finals of the lucrative cup tournament, winning in 2012, and finishing runners-up the next year.

“I lost in the final last year to Chiefs so it was a bit unfortunate,” he said.

“I don’t know if anyone has got to three finals in a row, so obviously it’ll be for me personally.

“I didn’t come here (to Wits) to come second – we’re obviously trying to win things.”

Nedbank Cup draw: Maritzburg United v Orlando Pirates, Wits v Kaizer Chiefs. – Sapa


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