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Nedbank Cup: Mamelodi Sundowns unfortunate to get ‘closed book’ Richards Bay - Mngqithi

20:12 GMT+3 13/01/2022
Coach Manqoba Mngqithi of Sundowns.
Masandawana were paired against the National First Division side in their opening round of South Africa’s premier knockout competition

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has predicted to be given “a hard time” by Richards Bay who they meet in the Last-32 of the Nedbank Cup.

The Brazilians begin their bid for a sixth Nedbank Cup title with a visit to KwaZulu-Natal to face the National First Division side.

This is the same team that eliminated Kaizer Chiefs from this competition at the Last-32 stage last season, before ending their campaign at the quarter-finals phase.

“I think we are playing against a very competitive team in Richards Bay. They have done very well this season in their league, they are up there,” Mngqithi told Sundowns’ media department.

“It says to us they are giant killers and we must know they have done well in the past against big teams and that becomes very important for us to look at this match and give it all the respect it requires. We will work hard to make sure the team is ready for it.

“But one must say we were a bit unfortunate in the draw to get a team I believe will really give us a hard time. But nonetheless, we are confident of the team we have. We believe they have the capacity to upset any team in the league and we are hopeful that we will be able to get the desired results.

“They are a closed book because we have not watched too many matches of them this season even on TV. We know they are a team that has always caused upsets, a team that is experienced in the Nedbank Cup. Over the years they have really done very well in that space. So we have to tread carefully and make sure we give them the necessary respect.”

Richards Bay are in contention to gain promotion into the Premier Soccer League as they currently lead the NFD table.

They will be meeting Masandawana who have are also at the top of the PSL standings.

The Brazilians last won the Nedbank Cup in 2020 in what was their fifth title, having first claimed it in 1986.

“We cannot take anything for granted when it comes to the Nedbank Cup,” said Mngqithi.

“It’s one Cup that is very exciting. It brings a lot of fire and surprises. You don’t want to be among those victims in this Cup because this Cup always gives you a thing or two.

“Just like any other FA Cup, I think it’s a Cup of dreams. It’s a Cup where boys from the rural areas and villages believe they have a chance to be snatched by big teams, a chance to upset big teams. They have a chance to showcase their talents and be seen by big clubs in the country.”