Head Coach, Dan Malesela revealed his affection for the Nedbank Cup after his charges beat Withbank Spurs 1-0 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Striker Lerato “Zlatan ” Manzini scored the only goal of the match, handing the Chilli Boys their first victory in seven games.
The victory means Chippa United will play for in the second round the first time after failing to proceed in three seasons.
Malesela back in the dugout after illness, spoke fondly about the Cup; “This is a Cup that is very close to my heart, as it is the first cup I lifted in my professional career,” he said, making reference to the Bob Save Super Bowl where he captained Orlando Pirates to victory against Kaizer Chiefs in 1988.
“It goes by a different name now of course, but it is also a Cup that provides education, you win it and you go to Africa. Teams in the lower division get to face teams in the higher league,” said a visibly delighted Malesela.
Going back to the game, “Dance” felt his charges made things difficult for themselves and should have wrapped the game early.
“We were in total control of the game, and I am saying this with respect to the opposition.
“We made things difficult for ourselves losing possession unnecessarily, we should have hurt them badly in the first half.
“I do believe though, we won the game in the first half. We knew they would not chase us the entire game, and they were bound to open up, and they did.
“We are delighted with the win, and it is of course a big boost for us following the past couple of weeks.
“I am glad we have achieved another “first” going past the last 32 for the first time,” he continued with a smile.
“We want to do well in this competition, but now the focus changes back to the league where we need to start grinding for results.
“There are areas to work on, and we are going to give players a few days off, and we start preparing for the next game,” added Malesela.