COMMENT: The Nedbank Cup is Kaizer Chiefs' best chance at silverware, but they need to up their game

Amakhosi stumbled into the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup on Sunday, but can they be considered favourites following Masandawana and Bucs' early exits?

With Kaizer Chiefs having progressed to the next round of the Nedbank Cup on Sunday evening, many have questioned whether or not the Nedbank Cup is Amakhosi’s best chance at silverware.

With Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns having surprised bowed out of competition at the first time of asking, Chiefs might just favour their chances.

There is certainly no better time to end their trophy drought, but at the same time, their showings have been less than convincing.

Kaizer Chiefs Nedbank Cup PS

Chiefs needed to fight tooth and nail against an ABC Motsepe League side as they registered a narrow 1-0 win over Tornado FC.

This does not really paint a positive picture of Chiefs’ abilities, and perhaps shows that there is still a lot of work to be done before they can be considered Cup contenders.

With Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City still in the competition Chiefs still need to be on guard, and a similar performance to Sunday’s will surely not be good enough.

But the beauty of the Nedbank Cup is that it’s one game at a time. Chiefs only need to put on four more match-winning performances in order to be crowned champions, a tournament that they were last victorious in the 2012/2013 season.

Chiefs fans are also baying for silverware and it really does seem that the Nedbank Cup could be their best route to success.

Kaizer Chiefs v Zesco United, January 2019, Ernst Middendorp

With Chiefs mathematically still in the league title race, head coach Ernst Middendorp would be vilified should he decide to go all out in the Cup.

The German has also expressed that he wants to return to continental football following their exit at the hand of Zesco United, and winning the Nedbank Cup for a record-extending 14th time offers just that. So, it might be worth a punt.

In addition, Wits’ focus is on the league, and the Nedbank Cup is likely to be a distraction for them. This could work in Chiefs’ favour and perhaps the Students could decide to forfeit their chances of victory in the Cup in favour of the nation’s ultimate crown.

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This potentially leaves Cape Town City as the only team that Chiefs really need to worry about. Benni McCarthy’s men are hitting their stride at the right time and having already won one trophy this season, they look like favourites. But as Cup football has constantly shown in the past, nothing is a full gone conclusion.

Nonetheless, no matter the form, Cup football is about a will to win, and if Chiefs can show genuine hunger they might just have the key to success.

But from now on, Chiefs need to treat every game like a Cup final going forward and severely need to up their game as they have not been good enough thus far.