Cup bad omen - Sono vows to edge United
SUCCESS in knockout competitions often proves to be an ill omen for teams battling relegation troubles.
It's with this belief in mind that Jomo Cosmos and Santos will today approach their Nedbank Cup fixtures against SuperSport United and AmaZulu, respectively, as they both fret about their future.
Much against the odds, Jomo Sono will be relying on history to give his side the edge in what should be a low-key affair against United at Peter Mokaba Stadium this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
Back in 2004, Cosmos edged United to lift the Coca-Cola Cup, their last trophy, at the very same venue.
"I don't foresee United spoiling our dream of progressing to the semifinals. I think we've always had an edge over SuperSport because we're very familiar with their style of play, and I think we stand a good chance of beating them," said Sono.
"Every game between Cosmos and SuperSport has always been a tactical affair.
"But today we'll go into the game with some degree of confidence because we're well aware of their strengths and weaknesses."
With their league campaign having all but fizzled out, United are eyeing the Nedbank Cup for redemption.
Ever since they were knocked out of a cup match by Bidvest Wits six seasons ago, United have never been the same in knockout competitions.
They might have lost their aura of invincibility, but made up for their cup failures with a successful run, which has brought three successive league trophies.
This season, however, they seemed to have emerged from the slump and victory over Cosmos could certainly set them on a path to a rare cup final appearance.
The return to fitness of veteran Glen Salmon, attackers Mabhuti Khenyeza and Franklin Cale from injury, who proved key in the first round, should buoy Gavin Hunt's side.
Elsewhere, AmaZulu will be favourites to advance to the last four at the expense of Santos when the two sides meet at Princess Magogo Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
AmaZulu fought rain, a stern Ajax Cape Town side and a three-goal deficit after two hours of football to get this far in the tourney.
Another display of such spirited performance should see them past the Cape side, who will be without suspended inspirational midfielder Isaac Erwin.