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Why Paarl Utd coach would have preferred to play Chiefs

In the spirit of giant slaying, Paarl United [Ammar Academy] coach Edward Malunga Fiyaka has stirred the pot, explaining why he preferred facing Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup.

The beloved Nedbank Cup, notorious for its “giant-slayer” moments and thrilling upsets, kicked off its 2023/24 campaign in vibrant fashion on Tuesday night.

Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns set the tone with a dominant 6-1 victory over second-tier league side La Masia. However, the true magic of the Nedbank Cup lies in the potential for smaller teams to pull off unexpected victories.

Over the years, Chiefs have fallen to lower-division opponents such as Baroka FC, Acornbush FC, Richards Bay, FC Cape Town and most notably, TS Galaxy in 2019, when the latter were still in the Motsepe Foundation Championship.


Ammar’s Malunga cited Amakhosi’s past vulnerabilities against minnows as a factor that influenced his preference to face them in the round of 32.

Paarl United [Ammar Academy] players celebrating
Paarl United [Ammar Academy]

But Malunga’s troops, competing in the SAFA Men’s Regional League – the fourth division, will take on Maritzburg United at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, Durban, on Sunday afternoon with kickoff set for 15:00.

On the other hand, the most successful team in the Nedbank Cup with 13 titles, Chiefs will host Motsepe Foundation Championship outfit Milford FC on Sunday (15:00) at the iconic FNB Stadium.

“They say in life you must aim big. I strongly wanted Kaizer Chiefs,” said Malunga on Zibonele FM.

“The reason I say Kaizer Chiefs is because if you look at the history of the Nedbank Cup, Baroka has beaten them, a small team, and I also want to put Paarl United on the map and be one of the teams to have knocked out Kaizer Chiefs.”

Paarl United head into their clash with Maritzburg United brimming with confidence after an impressive run of form. Malunga reports a positive atmosphere in the camp, fuelled by four wins and a draw in their recent SAFA Hollywoodbets Regional League matches.

“The boys are buzzing and ready to go,” Malunga said. “While Maritzburg might be a bit of an unknown quantity, we’re not taking them lightly. They have Premiership experience, but we feel the draw handed us a fair chance, and we’re embracing the challenge.”

Fiyaka admits scouting Maritzburg has been challenging due to limited access to match footage. “We’ve seen some highlights, but they only offer a glimpse,” he added. “While their tactics remain somewhat unclear, our focus is on ourselves and playing to our strengths.”

In their first season under a new identity, Ammar Academy, formed through the acquisition of Paarl United’s status, secured a historic qualification for the Nedbank Cup round of 32, becoming the first SAFA Cape Winelands team to reach this stage.

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