The three exciting matches saw Durban Stars, Nathi Lions and African Warriors triumphantly through to the last 32, where they have a chance to meet one of the sixteen PSL outfits.
The tournament replaces the old Absa Cup, which was won last year by Ajax Cape Town, who defeated Mamelodi Sundowns in the Final.
Earlier in the week, in an unprecedented move and another first for the Premier Soccer League, it was confirmed that five of these eight preliminary fixtures would be beamed to soccer fans across the country – with SuperSport screening three of the matches and the SABC the other two.
“From a Nedbank point of view, we are extremely delighted that over 60 percent of the preliminary Nedbank Cup games are being broadcast. We can start setting the mood for the tournament already,” says Nedbank Head of Group Sponsorships, Andy Scott.
Scott also gave the National First Division clubs a vote of confidence, adding that he believes the preliminary round will single out a few contenders for the Nedbank Cup.
At the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban, Stars beat a 10-man Hanover Park 1-0 in a tightly contested match, thanks to 4th-minute strike by Mukendi Mulumba.
Sammy Troughton’s well-disciplined side used their wings to open up Hanover in the first half, but credit must go to the Cape club, who never gave up and chased every ball.
Salifou Atakora was red-carded in the 64th minute after fouling Mulumba and two minutes later Hanover missed a golden opportunity to equalize.
Coastal Stream leaders, Maritzburg United, lost their unbeaten record and any dreams they had of progressing in this lucrative tournament after going down 2-1 to African Warriors at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
However, they only had themselves to blame as coach Ian Palmer decided not to play a number of experienced men, including ace striker Fadlu Davids and goalkeeper Dominic Sithole.
After a goalless first half, Warriors opened the scoring through Molefi Loape, but Maritzburg equalized in the 91st minute to force extra time.
And just when it looked like penalties would be the order of the day, Warriors’ captain Mohlolo Nhlapo headed home the winner.
Before the game, Warriors’ Communications Manager, Tso Mokeane, said, “It’s the first time we going to be on television at this level. It will definitely give the players extra motivation and the will to win.”
In a five-goal thriller, Nathi Lions defeated University of Pretoria 3-2 at the Absa Stadium in Tshwane.
Tuks opened the scoring in the 15th minute through Doctor Sikhosana, but seven minutes later Lions equalized. The home side then went ahead just before the break; however, in the second period the Durban side netted twice to seal the game and silence Tuks’ disappointed fans.