CAPS United’s desperate quest to end a six-year drought of prestigious pieces of football silverware continues on Saturday when they host Chapungu in the Chibuku Super Cup first round clash at Rufaro.
Formerly famed as “Cup Kings”, United will be in search of their first piece of silverware since November 2008, when they overpowered Eastern Lions 3-0 to lift the CBZ FA Cup.
Caps midfielder Pervington Zimunya was then in the Eastern Lions side in that final and knows how brutal the Green Machine can be. Then under Jostein Mathuthu, it was a glorious year for Caps who had also decorated their trophy cabinet with the BancABC Sup8r Trophy they had bagged two months earlier, after dispatching the now defunct Lengthens 2-1 in the final.
With a faded history of a side that once ruthlessly hauled trophies especially in the 1990s, United’s capability to bring back the old glory days is under spotlight.
Even if they fail to lift the league crown, winning a major Cup this year could help them taunt city rivals and “Derby Kings” Dynamos and restore their status as fierce competitors.
Less-esteemed Cups have found way into their trophy cabinet in recent years with the Zambezi.
A ZNA Charity Shield marked their year last season and the last time they were on a podium hoisting a trophy was on February 16 this pre-season where they claimed the Zambezi Challenge Cup on foreign soil.
They took part as guest participants in Malawi and beat Mighty Wanderers 1-0 in the final.
Captain Tapiwa Kumbuyani will on Saturday be facing his former club Chapungu.
Bred at Chapungu where he started as a junior, Kumbuyani now understands the leadership task he carries at Caps where he is in his second season as skipper.
“For me, it does not matter that I was bred at Chapungu where I started as an Under-15,” Kumbuyani said.
“What is important is to remain loyal to my current club and help them win trophies. It has always been common that Caps are former Cup Kings and we always fight to restore that status. What is pushing us is to have something tangible at the end of the season.”
A 3-0 league win over Chiredzi FC last Sunday could spur Caps, who themselves were victims of the same scoreline humiliation by Chapungu on June 7 in the league at Ascot.
Kumbuyani has predicted a win for his side over the Thornhill Airbase side.
“They beat us in Gweru, but that will not happen again because we will revenge on Saturday. Obviously, a Cup game has to produce a winner at the end of the game so it is going to be quite a challenge,” he said.
The returning and rebranded Chibuku Super Cup always eluded United in its heyday and it could be the chance for Caps to make it right.
Chibuku Cup first round fixtures:
Saturday: ZPC Kariba v Harare City (Rimuka), FC Platinum v Bantu (Mandava), Caps United v Chapungu (Rufaro), How Mine v Chicken Inn (Luveve)
Sunday: Dynamos v Black Rhinos (Gwanzura), Highlanders v Shabanie Mine (Luveve), Hwange v Triangle (Colliery), Buffaloes v Chiredzi (Sakubva)