HomeSportSoccerRich pickings in Zimbabwe Independence Cup

Rich pickings in Zimbabwe Independence Cup

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ORGANISERS of the Independence Cup football tournament have increased the prize monies by 50%, with the winners of this year’s edition pocketing $15 000.

BY HENRY MHARA
SPORTS REPORTER

The final of the tournament, between defending champions Dynamos and FC Platinum, is set for the National Sports Stadium on Friday.

There would be a third and fourth play-off match between Highlanders and Harare City at Barbourfields Stadium on the same day.

The government, through the Sports and Recreation Commission, has availed $50 000 for the annual tournament, the same amount they put last year.

Dynamos received $10 000 after winning the tournament last year, the seventh time they have done so since the competition’s inauguration in 1983. The Harare giants beat Highlanders, who went on to get $8 000.

However, the purse has been increased this year. Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela yesterday revealed that the winners would get $15 000, while the runners-up would receive $10 000.

The winner in the match between Highlanders and Harare City will walk away $7 000 richer and the losing team getting $5 000.

The remaining $13 000 of the total package has been gobbled up by administration costs.

While the four teams would want to win their matches to fatten their coffers, there is no doubt that the significance of the two clashes lies elsewhere.
It is an opportunity for the four coaches, leading teams considered title contenders, to redeem themselves following a tumultuous start to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.

Dynamos’ Kalisto Pasuwa was booed off the National Sports Stadium by a section of the club’s supporters after the team’s shock 1-0 loss to league debutants ZPC Kariba last Sunday.

The uninspiring result followed a 1-0 win over How Mine in the opening weekend which came courtesy of an own goal.

And while some of the fans are not panicking as yet, knowing that their team are generally slow starters to the league race, the other section is not convinced by the team’s recent performances, hence Pasuwa is under pressure to win back the support of the disgruntled group.

The situation is even more precarious for FC Platinum coach Lloyd Mutasa.

Mutasa was appointed by the well-resourced club at the end of last season and finished last term strongly.

Expectations were that this season he would pick up from where he left, with others even tipping the Zvishavane club to win the title this year.

But just after two games into the season, alarm bells are already ringing loud in their camp. They were held by new boys Chiredzi FC in the opening weekend before surrendering a two-goal lead to fall to Hwange in their next match.

Mutasa came out publicly this week to play down the “crisis” at the club following the poor start to the season, but history will show that FC Platinum do not tolerate mediocrity.

Highlanders, on the other hand, have started the season relatively well.

After their goalless draw against league returnees Chapungu in the opening weekend, they responded with an emphatic 4-1 win over Shabanie Mine last weekend.
Bosso will need to assure their fans that the latest result is not a fluke with another comprehensive win against City, a team they booted out of the Bob89 Super Cup earlier this year.

It’s less than a month into the new term, but the season is about to implode for City coach Bigboy Mawiwi.

An early exit from the Bob89 Super Cup was followed up by an embarrassing 3-0 league loss to Chicken Inn and then 2-1 against Caps United last week.

Mawiwi knows this is unacceptable for a team that finished runners-up in the league last season and would no doubt want an immediate response from his boys against Highlanders.

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