12 February 2020 – The South African Football Association (SAFA) has hailed the ABC Motsepe League teams that have made it through to the Last 16 round of South Africa’s premier knock-out competition, the Nedbank Cup.
In the round of 32, there were eight sides from the lower league, a further eight from the Glad Africa Championship (National First Division) and 16 from the Premier Soccer League – now the last 16 has four teams from the ABC Motsepe League, 3 from NFD and nine from the PSL.
Hungry Lions made the biggest news when they beat Cosmos 1-0 to book a place in the last 16. Zizwe United proceeded in the competition after beating Happy Wanderers by the same margin, Amavarara brushed aside Super Eagles 2-1 while Vaal University claimed the biggest scalp when they disposed of PSL side Golden Arrows 6-5 on penalties following a 2-2 stalemate at the end of extra time.
“To see these lower teams stand their ground, fight heavy battles against professionals and come out victorious is pleasing. It also shows that the ABC Motsepe League, which is a feeder league to the National First Division, is also strong and that development wise there is definitely something right being done,” said Safa President Dr Danny Jordaan.
“Gone are the days when matches against these lower division teams were a walk in the park. We would like to congratulate them on a job well done for raising the flag of this league. We also take this opportunity to wish them well in the remaining stages of the competition.”
The four teams will be hoping their good run continues after the Last 16 draw was conducted in Johannesburg.
Three of them have been pitted against PSL sides – Vaal University has a date with the high-riding Mamelodi Sundowns; Hungry Lions will face Baroka FC, Amavarara are away to Black Leopards while Zizwe United may have a relatively easier task against NFD’s TS Sporting.
NEDBANK CUP LAST 16 FIXTURES:
Baroka FC v Hungry Lions
Zizwe United v TS Sporting
Mbombela United v Real Kings
Mamelodi Sundowns v Vaal University
Bidvest Wits v Chippa United
Highlands Park v Kaizer Chiefs
Bloemfontein Celtic v Maritzburg United
Black Leopards v Amavarara