Chippa United coach Dan Malesela is confident that progressing to the next round of the Nedbank Cup will spark greater success for his team.
The Chilli Boys beat National First Division side Witbank Spurs 1-0 in the last-32 stage of the tournament at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday night, and will host Polokwane City in the next round.
The win saw the Port Elizabeth-based team book themselves a spot in the last 16 of the competition for the first time in five attempts.
This is another milestone for Malesela’s young troops after their impressive debut in the MTN8.
“We have never gone beyond this round of the Nedbank Cup, so it’s another first. I am hoping it brings bigger things,” the coach said.
“Yes, I am one to admit that there are flaws here and there. But we just need to get the right personnel to do the job, depending on the opponents we have.”
Malesela said he was satisfied with the Spurs win but felt his team made the game look difficult.
“Without any disrespect towards the opponents, we could have cruised through this game if we wanted to,” Malesela said.
“If we were simpler and more direct, I think we could have had this team big time.
“We lost possession so many times in critical moments because we were trying to do something clever.
“I don’t like clever, I have never liked clever. I like smart and I like good, those are simple things.”
Malesela, who is determined to take Chippa to the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup and perhaps further this season, said besides the attractive monetary value, winning the trophy could also be educational for the players.
“I know this cup helps educate players because if you win the trophy you know that next season you qualify to play in Africa,” he said.
“The players will obviously learn from those things. It is also a cup that is at the end of the season.
“If you win, how nice it would be to give yourself a holiday to go somewhere with whatever bonus you get.”
Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates have once again drawn Free State Stars at the Goble Stadium in a cup competition, this time the Nedbank Cup last-16.
Kaizer Chiefs will travel to Nelspruit to meet Acornbush United, one of two ABC Motsepe League (third division) teams left in the competition, who beat Cape Town City in the last-32.
Mamelodi Sundowns are at home to fellow Premier League team Lamontville Golden Arrows.
The exact venues and dates are to be announced.
Nedbank Cup last 16 (home teams first, venues to be announced): Chippa United v Polokwane City KwaDukuza United v SuperSport United Bloemfontein Celtic v Mbombela United Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates Jomo Cosmos v Bidvest Wits Baroka FC v Platinum Stars Mamelodi Sundowns v Lamontville Golden Arrows Acornbush United v Kaizer Chiefs – Additional reporting by Marc Strydom