Mamelodi Sundowns are set to face Richards Bay in the last 32 draw of the 2023 Nedbank Cup that was conducted at the Nedbank head offices in Sandton on Thursday. The reigning champions will begin their title defense against The Natal Rich Boys at home, the two teams recently locked horns at the beginning of January when Bafana Ba Style traveled to KwaZulu-Natal.
Masandawana’s left back Aubrey Modiba was present at the draw and acknowledged that the meeting with the Natal based team will be a hard fight, he said: “It’s a difficult draw to be playing against Richards Bay. We recently played them and they are a very good team.”
“They are doing well in the league also, but it’s a cup game now and when we meet them we just have to focus and do our basics right then we will be able to win our game and defend our title.”
The Brazilians have a hundred percent winning rate against the newly promoted Richards Bay side with a total of six goals in the two games that they played in the league. Despite their struggle against Sundowns, The Natal Rich Boys form part of the teams at the top half of the DStv Premiership as they occupy the third spot.
“They have been playing more or less the same team of players, they are good and very quick, they play good football and build from the back. I don’t think they will really change much because that’s their style of play, but like I said, it’s a different ball game now because it’s a cup game. We just have to analyze them so that we can be able to win the game even though it’s going to be a difficult one.” Said Modiba, as he explained the opposition’s style of play.
The 27-year old Limpopo born star is a proud product of The Nedbank Cup competition, which is renowned for bringing together 16 teams from the Premier Soccer League, and eight from each of the National First Division and Safa Division. “Postman” was part of the Ke Yona Team that competed in 2014 when he left a mark in the South African football streets that earned him a move to the professional league.
“I always say that it’s a very special tournament for me because I come from the Nedbank Ke Yona Cup team search. The Nedbank people are giving all these teams that are in the lower league exposure by playing against the so-called ‘big teams’ in the PSL.”
“It’s always good to see those players showcasing their talent because I think that’s what Nedbank is all about and obviously the team that wins the tournament they get to choose where they want to build the multipurpose court, they did the same with me. It’s a very special tournament for me and as a player I would love to do well, always win it and even break the record of most titles.”
The left back also expressed the desire to become the first team to successfully defend the Nedbank Cup since 2017. He said, “I think every game there’s always pressure because Sundowns is a big team and brand.”
“The supporters are always expecting us to win whether it’s the Nedbank or any other tournament or trophy, we always want to win every trophy. There’s always pressure, but we have a good team that is capable of doing well on any given day.”
Dates and kick-off times will be announced in due course.