THE LAST HURDLE TO JUMP BEFORE THE FINAL CLUTCH AT GLORY
The four remaining sides in the Nedbank Cup face just one more hurdle before reaching the much-anticipated final. The showpiece fixture scheduled for Cape Town Stadium on the 19th of May 2018 will bring the curtain down on the 2017/18 Premier Soccer League season.
Free State Stars will seek to end their disappointing run at this stage of the competition when they travel to Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to face Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, 21 April at 20h15. Whilst, Maritzburg United will host Mamelodi Sundowns at their Harry Gwala Stadium fortress on Sunday, 22 April at 15h00, seeking to secure a place in the Nedbank Cup final for the first time in the club’s history.
Beyond the pursuit of being crowned South Africa’s best, the fixtures have underlying stories fuelling each team which could potentially change the complexion of their respective seasons. Will Kaizer Chiefs salvage a challenging season by reclaiming the glory or will Free State Stars break their 24-year wait to reach the final again, after being four-time semi-finalists? Will the form of Maritzburg United, galvanised by the energy and vision of their young coach, prove too much for Sundowns, who are on course for a league-cup double and also stating a strong case for the pursuit of a second star? No matter what the questions are, it is time to get ready because all will be answered this weekend!
Ea La Koto has previously reached the semi-final stage of the tournament on four occasions but is yet to qualify for the finals. Amakhosi have won the Cup competition on thirteen previous occasions, the most for any side, but have just a single success in 2013 since Nedbank took over sponsorship of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Team of Choice, Maritzburg United will be the team to beat as they have been one of the most exciting teams to watch this season under rookie coach Fadlu Davids, who at the age of 36 is the youngest tactician in the top-flight. Davids would want more than just admiration for his team but a first ever cup final for Maritzburg United and ultimately, to lift the silverware.
Masandawana will present a mighty obstacle for them, though in four previous knockout fixtures between the sides, the honours are evenly shared with two victories each, suggesting that Maritzburg can hold their own. Sundowns have been the most successful of the remaining four sides over the last decade, with tournament wins in 2008 and 2015, and a final loss to SuperSport United in 2012.
The two thrilling semi-final fixtures are both tough to call, but the prize for the victors will be the glitz and glamour of a major cup final at the magnificent Cape Town Stadium next month.
As fans are in for an exciting semi-final showcase, Nedbank will be with them every step of the way – even beyond the football! This year, the bank has introduced a new, innovative Stokvel Account that gives great offers; including up to 10% discount on groceries or school supplies, plus R10 000 burial cover for each stokvel member. All you need is a minimum of R100 to open the account and R15 per member per month! Other benefits include zero account transaction fees, great interest rates for saving and no limit on how many members can save together.
Open your Nedbank Stokvel Account today so that your stokvel money can start working harder. Call 0860 555 111 or visit any Nedbank branch.
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