Home competition discipline Amazulu and Richards Bay benefit from Carling knockout semi-final draw

Amazulu and Richards Bay benefit from Carling knockout semi-final draw

Kaitano Tembo, coach of Richards Bay FC. Picture: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

The KwaZulu-Natal clubs, Richards Bay FC and AmaZulu, will enjoy home-ground advantage when the Carling Knockout semi-finals are played early next month.

At the draw on Monday night in Randburg, Richards Bay were drawn against Mother City hopefuls Stellenbosch and AmaZulu will be up against TS Galaxy. Unlike the draw for the previous rounds of the competition, the draw for the semi-final was not seeded.

For the first time in PSL history, Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United, the country’s top four professional teams, will not be playing in the semi-final round of a domestic cup competition.

Surprisingly, Chiefs and Sundowns were first-round casualties after they were knocked out by AmaZulu and TS Galaxy.

The absence of these four teams will detract appreciably from the crowd appeal of the semi-finals. Of the four teams, AmaZulu have the biggest following but do not have the pulling capacity to fill the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

The PSL could save the day by billing the semi-finals as a double-header at the Durban stadium so that the combination of AmaZulu and Richards Bay fans could make for a sizeable crowd.

The PSL has yet to decide on the match details of the semi-finals, but it will be played over the weekend of December 2-3. The dates, starting times and venues will be announced later.

The Natal Rich Boyz, led by Kaitano Tembo, had a taste of things to come when they played Stellenbosch in a Premiership match in the Winelands on Tuesday.

They caused the biggest upset in the competition to date after they dumped ‘cup kings’ Pirates out of the competition. Richards Bay would be seeking a first final since their promotion last season to the top flight.

After reaching two cup semi-finals this season, Stellenbosch are the early frontrunners for the title, which would be their first domestic title. Stellies lost in the semi-finals of the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup competitions.

Richards Bay and Stellenbosch have never won cup competitions under the PSL banner. TS Galaxy are former Nedbank Cup champions (2019). AmaZulu won the Telkom Knockout way back in 1992.

The final of the tournament will be played on Saturday, December 16 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. This will be the second time this season that Moses Mabhida has been chosen as the venue for the final of a PSL competition. The venue also hosted the MTN8 final between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns on October 7.

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