ALL traditional football giants progressed to the quarterfinals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup as the first round matches failed to produce any major upsets.
HENRY MHARA IN TRIANGLE
Defending champions Dynamos, Caps United and Highlanders were all expected to make it to the last eight. While they all laboured in their matches, they eventually sneaked in.
Dynamos needed a late goal by second half substitute Clive Kawinga at Gibbo Stadium in Triangle on Sunday, the same day Highlanders were stretched by Triangle at Barbourfields Stadium and eventually winning 3-2, while Caps United had to endure a penalty shootout against Motor Action on Saturday to go through.
The ‘big three’ will lead the other qualified teams – How Mine, Chicken Inn, Buffaloes, Hwange and Harare City into the pot when the draw for the quarterfinals is conducted this week.
The venues for the lucrative tournament whose winner is guaranteed a cool $130 000, will also be announced at the draw.
Last year’s losing finalists Monomotapa, just like Motor Action are going through a difficult spell financially, were booted out by Harare City.
FC Platinum, with all their sound financial muscle, were not good enough to beat Hwange.
It looks like the well resourced Zvishavane side is likely to finish the season without any silverware.
Their city neighbours Shabanie Mine are also yet to recover from their BancABC glory as they were thumped 3-0 by Chicken Inn despite the home advantage.