Nedbank Cup: Draw brings “excitement” to Zim players

One nationality - similar goal, similar excitement, but different camps. Seven Zimbabwe international soccer players will be torn into two different camps when Amazulu host Bidvest Wits in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup.

Tapuwa Kapini
Tapuwa Kapini

Tapuwa Kapini and Onismor Bhasera said it was their “dream come true” for their sides to be drawn for a game to be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Amazulu skipper and first choice goalkeeper Kapini said it was always one of the best feelings to “come up against your countrymen” in a game of such magnitude.

“Wits beat us in a league match about two weeks ago and while we do not view this as our chance to revenge, that result ups the stakes going into this cup tie,” said the former Zimbabwe national team captain.

“They have good players who have seen it all in the game, like Benjani (Mwaruwari) who has played almost everywhere in the world with top clubs. Onismor Bhasera is also one of the veterans of the game, so Wits are a very formidable side and playing against my countrymen brings forth a lot of excitement. It is a great challenge for each of the teams because none of us wants to lose to the other.”

Although admitting that the next game was very crucial, Kapini said his focus was beyond the Wits meeting. “Obviously, we are focused on winning the trophy itself and the game against Wits is just one step in that direction. We can’t just be content with reaching the quarter-finals or semi-finals. We have to win the trophy to be taken seriously,” he said, conceding that although he was back in the game, he was not fully fit after his recent head injury.

Bhasera, the Wits fullback, said the side that plays better would carry the day. “It always feels good to come up against your home-boys and I am very happy that this is happening for us. Amazulu were the first out of the hat and I joked with Kapini that the next team out would be us and it did happen,” said Bhasera.

“It is a good draw and we will do our best to prevail on the day. Both teams are very strong and whoever gives more on the day will take it home. I do not want to raise my hopes high on our chances in this tournament. All we need to do is work hard at training and in the game. The rest will take care of itself.”

On paper, the teams are equally strong – Wits occupying third position on the Absa Premiership, after they recently turned their league form around. Amazulu are sixth on the same log.

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