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Lions Hungry to prove themselves

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Only one other Northern Cape side have twice made it into the last 32 round of the national, bank-sponsored competition.

The Northern Cape’s Tsantsabane Hungry Lions Football Club await the outcome of tonight’s match between Polokwane and Baroka to find out who they will play against in their debut Nedbank Cup round of 16 clash next weekend on February 21-22.

The amateur ABC Motsepe League affiliate club from Postmasburg made history last weekend when they beat professional side Jomo Cosmos 1-0 in Potchefstroom in their round of 32 game.

Lions are the first amateur football side from the Northern Cape to break through to the Nedbank Cup competition’s round of 16 in more than a decade of the competition’s existence.

To date, only one other Northern Cape side, namely De Aar based United Rovers, have twice made it into the last 32 round of the national, bank-sponsored competition.

Lions manager Lebogang Daniels was over the moon with the win. On Monday Daniels spoke to the DFA about his club’s achievement. He said they went so far into the Nedbank competition thanks to a generous sponsorship by mining company Anglo American who had donated R3 million to the club in 2018.

Daniels said the mining company’s donation helped ease the financial burden on the team and enabled them to focus on improving their technical capacity. The club management’s insistence too that seasoned professional football player Moses Spandeel stay on a bit longer to marshal the team through the qualifying rounds also played a big role in pushing them.

Spandeel, who retired from Premier Soccer League club Bloemfontein Celtic aged 30 and who also turned out for Mthatha Bucks is reported to have said recently that he intends to retire from Hungry Lions at the end of the season and that he may opt to coach instead.

The win against Cosmos has widely been described as Spandel’s last performance as a player. The club’s exploits in the competition have also received wide acclaim on social media.

Northern Cape Sport, Arts and Culture MEC Bongiwe Sinxeve also joined the praise chorus and congratulated Lions on their progress.

The Nedbank Cup Last 16

Polokwane City/Baroka FC vs Hungry Lions

Zizwe United/Happy Wanderers vs TS Sporting FC

Mbombela United vs Real Kings

Mamelodi Sundowns vs Vaal University

Bidvest Wits vs Chippa United

Highlands Park vs Kaizer Chiefs

Bloemfontein Celtic vs Maritzburg United

Black Leopards vs Amavarara FC