Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates Nedbank Cup Last 32 opponents revealed

Sphelele Mkhulise, Mamelodi Sundowns & Lantshene Phalane, Bloemfontein Celtic, September 2020
Only PSL and GladAfrica Championship teams will participate in this season’s premier knockout competition

Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns will face Stellenbosch in the Last 32 of the 2021 Nedbank Cup following Thursday’s draw.

The tournament will kick off on the first weekend of February.

Sundowns will seek to retain the Cup starting with what looks like a tough fixture at home against Stellies who are having a fine run in their Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign.

Kaizer Chiefs have been paired with GladAfrica Championship side Richards Bay FC and will also start at home as they seek for a first major trophy since they lifted the 2015 PSL title.

Also getting a second-tier league team in the Last 32 are Orlando Pirates who will host Uthongathi FC.

Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer will be looking to guide his side to a second title this season under his charge after claiming the MTN8.

Last season’s Nedbank Cup runners-up Bloemfontein Celtic will seek to get past Cape Town City whom they have been drawn against.

This term’s edition of the premier knockout competition will only involve PSL and Glad Africa Championship teams.

Non-professional sides who usually also take part have been excluded due to the banning of amateur sports under the current South African government’s lockdown regulations.

“The South African Football Association [Safa] has apologised to the PSL and indicated that the association will not be able to provide eight teams to participate in this season’s Nedbank Cup due to the fact that non-professional football is not continuing due to Covid-19,” the PSL said in a statement.

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“The PSL has discussed the matter with Nedbank and agreed that the only appropriate way to deal with the matter is to restore the eight GladAfrica championship teams recently knocked out in the qualification competition to the Nedbank Cup. “The 2020/21 Nedbank Cup will consequently proceed with 32 teams, being 16 DStv Premiership teams and 16 Glad Africa championship teams.”

This means teams that had been eliminated at the preliminary round like Cape Town All Stars, University of Pretoria, Polokwane City, Jomo Cosmos, Cape United and Uthongathi are back in the tournament.