ZPC Kariba coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa has been afforded another opportunity to get the better of Harare City’s Moses “Bambo” Chunga after the two football teams were paired against each other in the quarter-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup tournament, in a draw conducted in Gweru yesterday. BY HENRY MHARA/MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE
The senior citizens among the top-flight league coaches will be out to outwit each other in the high-stakes last-eight meeting with the match set for Nyamhunga Stadium at the weekend.
Highlanders and FC Platinum, who are two of three teams vying for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title, were kept apart in the draw as the former travel to Gibbo Stadium for a date with Triangle, while Bosso entertain Kelvin Kaindu’s How Mine.
The other quarter-final pits Tonderai Ndiraya’s Ngezi Platinum against Tsholotsho at Baobab Stadium with all the matches set for this weekend.
But it is the ZPC Kariba-Harare City clash that has drawn so much interest with both clubs having under-achieved in a season where they were expected to have offered a better challenge for honours in the league title race.
The two former Dynamos coaches would be aware of how cup glory can transform what has been a mediocre season into a successful one and only fireworks can come from their clash.
Harare City will feel they have a good chance of at least progressing to the next round playing a side they have faced three times this season and emerging victorious in all the matches, including in the ZNA Charities tournament.
They have faced ZPC Kariba three times this season, twice in the league and once in the ZNA Charities Shield, emerging victorious on all occasions and, thus, would be looking for a quadruple over Chidzambwa’s side.
“We are the defending champions and we are expected to do well. It will not be a stroll in the park though, but we are ready to defend our title. We are comfortable to play Kariba, it has never been too difficult playing them either home or away,” said City club board chairman Christopher Mbangwa.
FC Platinum will continue their chase for a double when they face Triangle at Gibbo in what should be an interesting affair.
Triangle lost both home and away to Norman Mapeza’s side in the league and after enduring a difficult season, this competition, which guarantees winners $75 000, represents a good opportunity to make up for the disappointment they have had.
“Of course, FC Platinum are the team to beat and have the momentum but we will try to ride on the underdog tag,” Triangle secretary-general Abraham Chinemaringa said. “That gives us an advantage and although they beat us in the league, this is a different ball game altogether. We would obviously want to knock them out to make up for those defeats in the league.”
Highlanders’ chase for the Premiership title is not entirely in their own hands and they know they cannot afford to let the Chibuku Super Cup slip away, but a clash against How Mine will be a tough one.
“How Mine are coached by former Highlanders coaches (Kelvin Kaindu and Bhekithemba Ndlovu) and they would want to prove a point, but we also want to do the same,” Highlanders secretary Emmett Ndlovu said.