Royal AM will look to end Mamelodi Sundowns’ pursuit of a domestic treble when they clash at Chatsworth Stadium in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 7 pm.
The Brazilians, who won the MTN 8 at the start of the campaign, successfully defended their DStv Premiership crown with a 0-0 draw against Cape Town City on Wednesday.
A fourth Nedbank Cup title is in their sights, but Thwihli Thwahla are not about to roll over for the Pretoria juggernauts as they eye a first-ever cup final appearance.
John Maduka’s side had by far the tougher route to the semis after facing top-flight rivals City and Swallows in the opening two rounds before beating GladAfrica Championship title contenders University of Pretoria 3-2 in the quarter-finals.
The KZN outfit are also flying high in the league, with a goalless draw against AmaZulu last weekend extending their unbeaten run to nine matches and 12 across all competitions.
Maduka wants to bring success not only to the club, but also for the province, although he is refusing to get carried away and acknowledges they have a very big hurdle to get past in Sundowns.
“It’s important to go all out. It is important to represent this beautiful province. This province deserves good things when it comes to sport,” he said.
Masandawana saw their African dream come to an end when they were eliminated by Petro de Luanda in the CAF Champions League quarter-finals this past weekend, but a seventh league title in nine years has tempered that disappointment slightly.
Royals will provide the first real test for Downs in the cup competition after they saw off Richards Bay, Mathaithai and Summerfield in the previous three rounds by a combined scoreline of 15-0.
Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has hailed the consistency of their players to achieve what they have this season and he’s hoping they can wrap it up in style by lifting the Nedbank Cup.
“We’ve spoken a lot about trying to improve what we have done last season which we have done very well. We had a better season than what we had last season,” Mokwena said.
The Durban-based club put up a real fight against Sundowns in their first-ever meeting earlier this season, eventually losing 3-2 at Loftus Versfeld.