Nedbank Cup semifinals, all to play for

Attention turns to the Nedbank Cup semifinals this weekend with two intriguing ties that see all-conquering Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa United as arguably the favourites to advance.

Here is a quick guide to those matches as the four remaining teams battle it out for a place in the final on May 8.

PRETORIA CALLIES VS CHIPPA UNITED

One of these sides will win a place in the Nedbank Cup final for the first time but both come into the tie in indifferent form and having changed coaches in recent weeks.

In fact, they have identical records over the last seven games in all competitions, with a single victory, two draws and four defeats, albeit Pretoria Callies are a division below Chippa United in the GladAfrica Championship.

Chippa have lost their previous two semifinals, to SuperSport United in 2017 and Kaizer Chiefs in 2019, but are hoping to make it third time lucky under rookie interim coach Siyabulela Gwambi.

All three of their previous ties in this season’s Nedbank Cup have been at home, with two of those going to extra-time (vs Free State Stars in the Last 32 and Cape Town City in the Last 16). This will therefore be their first road trip.

Chippa have only won one of their eight away matches in the Nedbank Cup, which came at third-tier Phiva Young Stars (2-0) in 2018. They did beat BidVest Wits on penalties after a thrilling 4-4 draw in 2019.

Callies have also needed extra-time in their last two rounds, seeing off JDR Stars and Cape Town All Stars on penalties. Their other tie, against Royal AM (1-0) was also a meeting with a fellow GladAfrica Championship side.

Callies have recently appointed veteran coach Joel Masutha, who led Chippa briefly as a caretaker coach in the 2018-19 Premier Soccer League season. 

Masutha was in charge of TTM earlier this campaign when they stunned SuperSport United 1-0 in the Nedbank Cup Last 32, but was axed straight after that game.

This will be a first ever meeting between these two sides.

MAMELODI SUNDOWNS VS TTM

These two clubs will meet for a second time in 12 days when they clash at Loftus Stadium on Sunday, with Mamelodi Sundowns having recorded a comfortable 3-1 victory in the DStv Premiership in Polokwane last time out.

Since that loss, TTM have gone on to beat TS Galaxy 2-0, which is the only game they have played over that period, while Sundowns have been involved three fixtures since, which just illustrates their heavy workload.

Defending champions Sundowns are currently on a club record eight-game winning run in the Nedbank Cup, and eyeing SuperSport United’s competition record of 10, and have scored 11 goals in their three matches this campaign (three vs Stellenbosch and four each vs Polokwane City and Orlando Pirates).

This tie will be the seventh of their last nine Nedbank Cup games that have been played at home. They have staged 21 home games in the competition since 2008, winning 16 of those, with no draws. In fact, their last home draw in the competition was all the way back in 2006 (0-0 vs Kaizer Chiefs).

TTM have played all three Nedbank Cup games in the Limpopo province, though their quarterfinal was away at Black Leopards (2-0) in Thohoyandou.   

It is mostly hit or miss with TTM, they have been involved in just two draws in their last 15 games (W5 L8), with one of those the Nedbank Cup Last 16 shoot-out victory over Swallows FC (2-2).

Aside from that 3-1 win for Sundowns, the other league meeting between these two clubs this season finished 0-0 at Loftus Stadium in late October.

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