Nedbank Cup: How defending champs stumble

Thumbnail

2009 defending champions: Mamelodi Sundowns

The Brazilians won the inaugural Nedbank Cup in 2008 when they got the better of then first division side Mpumalanga Black Aces under coach Trott Moloto, who served Sundowns in the interim. Sundowns’ bid to retain the title was dashed by a club that have become a hoodoo team for them, Platinum Stars, whoknocked them out in the last 16. Downs fans didn’t take that defeat well, baying for the blood of coach Henri Michel, who left the club after being escorted off the pitch by the police.

2010 defending champions: Moroka Swallows

The Dube Birds also won this trophy against a first division side, University of Pretoria, who had stunned Kaizer Chiefs on their road to the final. Ama- Tuks had the likes of Andile Jali and Mthokozisi Yende on their books.

But Brazilian midfielder Vinicius da Silva starred in the final, scoring the winning goal in a match where a moment of silence was observed for former Swallows coach Walter da Silva, who died that week. Just like Sundowns, Swallows lost in the last 16 during their title defence, against AmaZulu, who went all the way to the final.

2011 defending champions: Bidvest Wits

The Clever Boys wrote their name on this cup in style when they hammered AmaZulu 3-0 in the final at FNB Stadium, which was the first match at the venue after having been refurbished for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. But just like the two previous winners, they were also knocked out in the last 16.

Kaizer Chiefs put four past Wits, who didn’t have a reply as they surrendered the only trophy they have won in the PSL era in top-flight football.

2012 Defending champions: Orlando Pirates

The Buccaneers were also last-16 elimination spell victims. The Nedbank Cup holders had completed their domestic league treble when they got the better of Black Leopards at Mbombela Stadium in 2011. Even though they won another domestic treble the following season, the Nedbank Cup wasn’t one of those three trophies. Free State Stars stunned the Sea Robbers with a 2-1 defeat. Ea Lla Koto went as far as the semi-finals under coach Steve Komphela.

2013 Defending champions: SuperSport United

The first three seasons for Gavin Hunt with Matsatsantsa a Pitori were successful. He led the club to three successive Premiership titles.

But he finished the fourth season empty-handed. He made up for that in his fifth season by helping the club win the Nedbank Cup at the expense of neighbours Mamelodi Sundowns in a Tshwane derby that played in Orlando. Matsatsantsa came close to retaining their title, but los in the final against Kaizer Chiefs in Durban in Stuart Baxter’s first season when he won the double with Amakhosi.

2014 Defending champions: Kaizer Chiefs

Chiefs have the second best performance in this tournament as defending champions, after Matsatsantsa, who lost in the final.

Amakhosi were penalty kicks away from reaching the final but Bidvest Wits were not having any of it, winning the shoot-out after the match ended 2-2. In what was Hunt’s third successive appearance in the Nedbank Cup final, he once again returned from Durban on the losing side when the Buccaneers beat the Clever Boys 3-1.

2015 Defending champions: Orlando Pirates

When the Buccaneers beat Wits to lift the Nedbank Cup, they ended a bad run that saw them reach three cup finals - MTN8, Telkom Knockout and CAF Champions League - but lost all three.

Vladimir Vermezovic boasted that if Pirates players can reach the final, he would make them win it. He did that but he wasn’t there to try and retain it as he left the club before even spending a year.

Eric Tinkler took over and they were eliminated A stunning Jeremy Brockie goal handed SuperSport the trophy.

Saturday Star

Original source: Nedbank Cup: How defending champs stumble

by