Shabanie seek cup glory

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A DECADE without winning any cup competition should really be a nightmare to any serious football team.

REPORT BY SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA

After winning the BP League Cup more than a decade ago, Shabanie Mine have never repeated such glory.

Shabanie beat Dynamos 1-0 in the final in 2001 to lift their only silverware courtesy of a strike by the late Thomas Makwasha.

Yet their coach Luke Masomere has not only won the OK Woza Bhora with Masvingo, but also lifted the 2003 league championship with AmaZulu.

On Sunday, Shabanie have been presented with the chance to exorcise those demons when they clash with Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium in the second semi-final of the BancABC Sup8r Trophy.

And there is $120 000 at stake for the winners and for just reaching the last four, Shabanie are guaranteed $20 000.

Ahead of the match, Masomere says history will not play a part in the semi.

“We are preparing well for the tie against Dynamos. The better team on the day will win. History does not count and we will just go into the game, but what I know is that it is going to be a very tough match,” he said.

Masomere lamented the fact that they had been inactive for a long period due to the postponement of league matches owing to the Warriors’ engagement in the Caf African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers against Zambia.

“The break has really affected us. We were on top of our game and we were fired up, but now we are back in a cup game. However, preparations are going well, but it is too early to talk about players individually as they can get sick or sustain injuries before the match,” he said.

Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro said they would miss left-back Augustine Mbara, who has a hamstring injury.

“Our preparations for the match against Shabanie Mine have been going on well. We are ready, but cup ties are very difficult to predict. Cup games are money games so the results can go either way. However, we are fully prepared for the challenge,” he said.

To get to the semi-finals, Dynamos beat Buffaloes 2-0 at Gibbo Stadium in Triangle on June 30, while Shabanie Mine booked a ticket to the semi-finals after they beat Chicken Inn by the same margin at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane on June 28.

Both teams will be itching for victory having bowed out of the BancABC Sup8r Cup semi-finals in 2011. Shabanie Mine lost 1-0 to Highlanders while Motor Action beat Dynamos 7-6 in a penalty shootout.

The first semi-final, to be played on Saturday, will pit FC Platinum against Monomotapa, who are fighting for their survival in the Castle Lager Premiership.

The matches will be beamed live on Supersport, both starting at 2pm.