Kaizer Chiefs to play Eastern Cape rookies in Nedbank Cup opener
JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs face a trip down to the coast to play relatively unknown entity Tornado FC, while Orlando Pirates head north to the Limpopo Province for a showdown with Black Leopards in the opening round of the 2018/ 19 Nedbank Cup.
For the most part, the 16 Premiership clubs were handed a kind draw - there will only four all-top-flight ties, with the pick of the bunch the match between Cape Town City and SuperSport United, which will take place in the Mother City.
Orlando Pirates have a potentially tricky game as well – the Buccaneers will take on the unpredictable Black Leopards, who can never be discounted in front of their partisan supporters in Thohoyandou.
Mamelodi Sundowns are away to Chippa United, while AmaZulu will clash with Highlands Park in Durban.
Kaizer Chiefs will be optimistic about their chances of making the last 16 after they were paired with Eastern Cape Second Division outfit Tornado FC, who will play hosts.
Defending champions Free State Stars will host National First Division (NFD) team Richards Bay FC, while last season’s beaten finalists Maritzburg United are away to another NFD side, Witbank Spurs.
The Nedbank Cup last-32 comprises the 16 top-flight clubs, who receive automatic entry into the competition, as well as eight NFD sides and a further eight teams from the lower ranks, all of whom have had to go through a qualification process to make the final cut.
Tjakastad Junior Shepherds (Mpumalanga), The Magic (Cape Town), Umvoti (KZN Midlands), NC Professionals (Northern Cape) and Tornado FC (Mdantsane, East Londom) will be some of the unknown teams in the competition hoping to pull off a giant-killing act if the chance arises.
"One of the reasons we love football is because it enables young people from all walks of life – be it from the most rural and poverty stricken areas – to dream big," Premier Soccer League (PSL) acting Chief Executive Mato Madlala said.
"The Nedbank Cup has been a practical vehicle for those dreams to come through. We have seen this with many clubs including Baroka FC who first made a name for themselves in this competition. Now they are a household name.
"We have more appetite for these stories because we truly believe in the power of football to change lives. Together with Nedbank, we look forward to what 2019 has in store for us. May all the clubs and players, mainly form those amateur structures, grab this opportunity and make use of it."
The dates and venues are still to be announced by the PSL. The competition traditionally starts in early February.
Cape Town City vs SuperSport United
Umvoti vs TS Galaxy
Bidvest Wits vs Boyne Tigers FC
Chippa United vs Mamelodi Sundowns
AmaZulu vs Highlands Park
Tjakastad Junior Shepherds vs Golden Arrows
Baroka vs Jomo Cosmos
Maccabi vs The Magic
Witbank Spurs vs Maritzburg United
Free State Stars vs Richards Bay FC
Super Eagles vs Bloemfontein Celtic
Polokwane City vs Tshakhuma FC
Black Leopards vs Orlando Pirates
Cape Umoya United vs TUT
Mbombela United vs NC Professionals
Tornado FC v Kaizer Chiefs
African News Agency (ANA)