AmaZulu crowned champions

USuthu won the much-anticipated inaugural edition of Msunduzi Cup beating Bidvest Wits in the final

In what was the first pre-season tournament in the province ever to feature exclusively Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs, fans were offered an early glimpse of some of the new signings made by their clubs.

The tournament did not start well for Pietermaritzburg when the local team, Maritzburg United, lost 2-1 to AmaZulu, in a match where Coach Eric Tinkler, fielded several new signings and different combinations in his experimental squad.

Although Maritzburg United flew out of the blocks by scoring the first goal of the competition through Thabiso Kutumela in the 12th minute, AmaZulu, clawed their way back and levelled through their new signing, Lehlohonolo Majoro, a minute before half time. The Majoro goal lifted Cavin Johnson’s men as they netted what proved to be the winner when Nhlanhla Vilakazi slotted in after 52nd minute. 

The second semi-final was a much more tense affair with Wits fielding many of their new acquisitions like Siyanda Zwane, Sameehg Doutie and Zitha Macheke. It was the new signing, Macheke, formerly of Chippa United, who headed in the winner in the 69th minute to sink a Golden Arrows, affectionately known as Abafana Bes’thende, securing Wits their passage to the final game. 

The first goal of the final, which was played by Bidvest Wits and Spar AmaZulu, was scored by Talent Chawapihwa after 18th minute. Bongi Ntuli, of AmaZulu scored 18 minutes before final whistle. Although Terrence Dzvukamanja pulled a goal back for Wits, it proved to be too little too late as the match ended 2-1, with AmaZulu being crowned champions of the Inaugural Msunduzi Cup. 

After the first match, Maritzburg United Chairman, Farook Kadodia said even though they lost in the semi-finals, it was a good exercise since they were able to test new players and trialists like Thamsanqa Sangweni, Daylon Classen and Yeboah Koffi from Ghana. 

“The coach will make a final call regarding the players on trials”, he said.