Nedbank Cup: Brother against brother

Today they are brothers, but tomorrow they will be enemies. Brother turns against brother late this weekend, when action resumes in South Africa’s premier soccer tournament the Nedbank Cup.

Onismor Bhasera
Onismor Bhasera

The draw for the last 16 round of the tournament saw a number of Zimbabwean players square up against one another as they fight to lift the crown and get the ticket to represent South Africa in next year’s CAF Confederations Cup.

On Saturday afternoon, Takesure Chinyama might still not be in the line-up, but his Platinum Stars host Terrence “Terror” Mandaza’s Maritzburg United at Moruleng Stadium. Unlike his Stars counterpart, Mandaza is a key member of Steve Khompela’s “Team of Choice”, having scored the winning goal when they beat Mpumalanga Black Aces 2-1 to win the all-KwaZulu Natal first round.

Barring injury, the Zimbabwean striker will certainly be a part of the team that tries out for a quarter-final berth against the 2013-14 season league and cup runners-up on Saturday.

At just about the same time, Tapuwa Kapini will skipper an AmaZulu side that also includes reliable defender, Carlington Nyadombo, when they take on Bidvest Wits at the Princess Magogo Stadium.

Both Kapini and Nyadombo are sure to run out for Usuthu, while Wits can use any or all of the five Zimbabweans in their ranks – left-back Onismor Bhasera, centre-back Thomas Sweswe, midfielders Tinashe Nengomasha and Denver Mukamba and veteran striker, Benjani Mwaruwari.

Bhasera said early this week that it would be anyone’s game. “We are prepared for them, but as the two teams are equally strong, the match will go to the more prepared team, one that will fight more,” said the Zimbabwe national team defender.

Later on the same day, Golden Arrows will trade leather against another team laden with Zimbabweans – Mamelodi Sundowns, at the King Zwelithini Stadium. Sundowns have Khama Billiat, Cuthbert Malajila and Esrom Nyandoro, who, barring injury and form, are each eligible for contention for a starting berth.

On Sunday, Roderick Mutuma‘s Bloemfontein Celtic host First Division club, Witbank Spurs at the Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium. Spurs have captain by Patrick Mubaiwa, his twin brother Patrick and former PSL Golden Boot winner, Ralph Matema as their key players.

On Wednesday evening, defending champions, Kaizer Chiefs seemingly have an easy assignment against second-division side, FC Buffalo at the giant FNB Stadium.

Matthew Rusike, Willard Katsande, Kingstone Nkhatha and Knowledge Musona are all key members of the crack Amakhosi side. Katsande scored the only goal that saw the defending league champions beat perennial rivals Orlando Pirates 1-0 at the same venue at the weekend.

Moroka Swallows, with Warriors left-bank, Gilbert Mapemba in the ranks, host SuperSport United at the Dobsonville Stadium the same evening.

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