Hendrick Ekstein’s Dramatic Late Strike Secures AmaZulu’s Nedbank Cup Last 16 Spot

Hendrick Ekstein’s Dramatic Late Strike Secures AmaZulu’s Nedbank Cup Last 16 Spot

AmaZulu FC emerged victorious in the KZN Derby against Royal AM, securing a spot in the Nedbank Cup Last 16 with a late goal from substitute Hendrick Ekstein.

This win marked the third encounter between the two teams, having previously met twice in the DStv Premiership.

Early Opportunities and Stalemate:

In the opening minutes, AmaZulu had a golden opportunity to take the lead as Augustine Kwem faced Royal AM’s goalkeeper one on one.

However, the Cameroonian goalkeeper, Hugo Nyame, made a crucial save, denying the early breakthrough.

The first half-hour witnessed a lack of clear chances for both sides, with the match reaching halftime with a 0-0 scoreline.

The missed chances in the early stages set the tone for a tightly contested match, and the stalemate at halftime hinted at a game where the margin for error would be decisive.

Royal AM’s Midfield Dominance:

Royal AM showcased midfield dominance, dictating the rhythm of the game and building up play.

Despite AmaZulu having moments in attack, they struggled to capitalize on goal-scoring opportunities.

The midfield battle became a key aspect of the matchup.

The midfield battle highlighted Royal AM’s strategic approach, which temporarily subdued AmaZulu’s attacking prowess.

The resilience in the center of the pitch set the tone for a strategic contest.

Second-Half Changes:

In a bid to inject more offensive impetus, AmaZulu’s coach, John Maduka, made substitutions, bringing on Motebang Sera and Sabelo Sithole.

The changes aimed to add dynamism to the attacking play.

However, Sera missed a golden opportunity shortly after entering the fray, failing to capitalize on a chance inside the box.

The tactical adjustments signaled AmaZulu’s intent to break the deadlock, and the missed chance by Sera added a layer of frustration to their offensive efforts.

Late Drama and Ekstein’s Winner:

In the 85th minute, the decisive moment arrived for AmaZulu as Hendrick Ekstein, coming off the bench, capitalized on a rebound to score the winning goal.

Ekstein’s clinical finish secured the Nedbank Cup Last 16 spot for AmaZulu, and they maintained defensive solidity until the final whistle.

Ekstein’s late heroics showcased the importance of impactful substitutions, and AmaZulu’s defensive resilience ensured they held on to their lead, clinching the victory.


AmaZulu FC’s triumph in the KZN Derby not only secured progression to the Nedbank Cup Last 16 but also added another chapter to their encounters with Royal AM.

The late drama and Ekstein’s goal will be etched in the memories of fans.

The victory not only marks progress in the tournament but also sets the stage for AmaZulu’s continued pursuit of success.

The KZN Derby delivered moments of tension, missed opportunities, and ultimately, a late-game winner, making it a memorable fixture in South African football.