Just six years on from Mamelodi Sundowns’ famous 24-0 victory over Powerlines FC, once again the Nedbank Cup has pitted the Tshwane giants against a South African footballing minnow.
Following the draw, the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Sundowns can repeat such a feat against ABC Motsepe League outfit EC Bees.
While Sundowns have grown in stature ever since that victory as they have found stability under coach Pitso Mosimane, they are yet to hammer any team as badly.
Sundowns over the years, have claimed big wins against the likes of SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates in the league, but smaller clubs such as Mariveni United from last season have proven a little more difficult to handle than predicted.
But after enjoying one of the most fruitful transfer windows of recent years, the Brazilians have built a formidable attacking line up that arguably could not only compete with the best in South Africa but on the continent as well.
Nonetheless, with the Eastern Cape outfit set to be the lucky or unlucky side whichever way you see it, to face the wrath of Sundowns on Tuesday evening, a massacre at Loftus Versfeld Stadium looks unlikely.
While Sundowns may be one of South Africa’s hottest team right now, they have not been prolific this season by any stretch of the imagination.
Chances have certainly been forthcoming but the likes of Percy Tau and Jeremy Brockie are just not hitting the heights. Brockie in particular, is yet to break his duck, while Tau needs at least two or three chances per game before finding the back of the net.
This is highly contrasting when compared to the way Sundowns annihilated Powerlines.
Hlompho Kekana, who is one of the rare few players still remaining from that fruitful encounter scored a whopping seven goals alongside former Sundowns attacker Nyasha Mushekwi who scored six. This is an apparent difference to a side whose biggest win came in the form of a 4-0 victory over Baroka in the league this season.
Also looking forward to the clash, another factor that makes a hefty scoreline look more unlikely is the fact that Sundowns are expected to make several changes as they look to keep one eye on the Caf Champions League return leg against Rayon Sports.
Nevertheless, there is also one of the notable differences between EC Bees and Powerlines.
In EC Bees’ corner is the fact that they are no strangers to the competition as they reached the Last 32 stage of the lucrative knockout tournament last season, where they faced off against Soweto giants Orlando Pirates.
Granted that it was against a Buccaneers side who were devoid of ideas, they still managed to put on a decent showing, and in spite of the eventual defeat, there were many valuable lessons that they would have learnt.
This is only but one of several differences that sets Bees apart, and one only has to look back at the Powerlines team to realise that they were merely an amateur outfit enjoying their moment in the sun.
EC Bees on the other hand, have several players who have at least played in the National First Division. The likes of Siphosihle Mtule, a former Royal Eagles player whose goals were partly responsible for his side’s progression in the cup this season.
Although, on paper a 24-0 result does not look likely this is football after all. It is not judged by form or past results, but the performance that is displayed on the day.
Sundowns also want to prove a point to South African football that they are the best team by doing a potential double, adding to the premise and this could see the club look to take advantage of EC Bees.
But while many of Sundowns’ ardent fans might await an absolute hammering, in all fairness to Sundowns, EC Bees and Powerlines, a result like that which was witnessed in Kimberly on the 4th of March 2012, was truly once in a lifetime.
So, witnessing closely fought encounters such as Ubuntu Cape Town shocking some of the league’s big wigs or Maluti FET College upsetting the apple cart, that only benefits SA football, as not only is the level of competitiveness greater but players coming through those leagues are more refined which bodes well for the elite of South African football who can then express their financial clout and snap the future of South African football up, leading to a brighter future for both club and player and South African football as a whole.