By Henry Mhara, Sports Reporter
FC Platinum, who have already bagged two trophies this year and lie sixth in the Castle Premiership standings, face Monomotapa in the first semi-final at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare this Saturday.
The second semi-final pits Caps United and Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Seated woefully at ninth position on the log table and with the chance of finishing in the top eight spot mathematically gone after their 2-0 loss to Motor Action on Sunday, United have only the Mbada Diamonds Cup to pacify their restless supporters.
For them to get the $100 000 winners’ cheque and a ticket to represent the country in the Caf Confederations Cup next year, United have to go past bitter rivals Dynamos. Caps and Dynamos met four times last season in the league and cup competitions with the latter winning all the contests. The two sides met twice this season, and again Dynamos won both contests.
United coach Taurai Mangwiro was last week handed a 10-year ban from football activities over allegations of match fixing and illegal betting, adding more woes to the Green Machine camp.
Assistant coach Mkhuphali Masuku has taken over the reins, but his debut match at the helm ended in a disappointing defeat.
A match against high-flying Dynamos should be the last thing Masuku wants at this juncture.
FC Platinum, runners-up in the league and Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-finalists last season, are out of the title race and have slim hopes of finishing in the top four.
Their hope of cup glory, like Caps United and Monoz too, lies on winning the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
Under Tendai Chikuni, they beat Hwange 2-0 to win the Bob88 Super Cup in February this year before ex-coach Rahman Gumbo led them to a sensational Independence Trophy win against Motor Action on April 18 after Qadr Amin scored an injury time equaliser that put the match into a penalty shootout which they eventually won.