Zims headline Battle of the Cities Part II

South Africa premier knockout event, the Nedbank Cup, enters quarter-final stage this week, with a number of Zimbabwean players among the star attractions.


Two of the biggest games are a diagonal repeat of last week’s league ties, dubbed “Battle of the Citites”, which pit Pretoria’s two biggest sides against their Johannesburg counterparts.

Last week, SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns recorded identical 1-0 wins over Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in Absa Premiership fixtures.

The four sides are in action again this Saturday, but with an exchange of opponents. Chiefs host SuperSport United at the FNB Stadium in an afternoon battle that will be a repeat of the 2013 Final of the competition that was won 1-0 by Amakhosi.

Zimbabweans Matthew Rusike, Kingstone Nkhatha, Willard Katsande and Knowledge Musona are expected to use the tie to get back to winning ways at the same venue where they lost to The Brazilians last week.

At the Loftus Stadium, Pretoria, another epic clash will be on offer in the evening, when Mamelodi Sundowns take on Orlando Pirates.

Sundowns have Zimbabwean Cuthbert Malajila back in their fold after a long injury lay-off, while Esrom Nyandoro and Khama Billiat could also pay in the game that should see each of the sides fight to eventually dislodge Kaizer Chiefs as champions of a tournament whose winner gets to represent South Africa in the CAF Confederations Cup.

Striker Terrence Mandaza is the only Zimbabwean on show in another quarter-final clash between National First Division side African Warriors and Maritzburg United at the Charles Mopeli Stadium.

At the Kaizer Bochabelo Stadium in the Free State, Roderick Mutuma’s Bloemfontein Celtic welcome another club laden with Zimbabwean players – Bidvest Wits, on Sunday. The Students have Benjani Mwaruwari, Denver Mukamba, Thomas Sweswe, Onismor Bhasera and Tinashe Nengomasha all eligible to play in the tie, although Gavin Hunt has used them sparingly.

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