TROUBLED Caps United were left facing another daunting task against their recent destroyers FC Platinum after the two football sides were paired together in the quarter-finals of the $500 000 Chibuku Super Cup during the draw held in Warren Park, Harare, yesterday.
The imminent clash between Caps and FC Platinum was the major highlight of yesterday’s draw which also served up a mouth-
watering Bulawayo derby between Highlanders and How Mine.
Chiredzi FC were drawn to face Harare City, while giant killers Black Rhinos were paired with Triangle in a quarter-final line-up whose dates and venues will be confirmed by the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
The toast of the quarter-finals fixtures will, however, be the clash between Caps United and FC Platinum.
Caps United suffered one of their heaviest defeats in recent memory following a humiliating 6-0 drubbing by FC Platinum in the ZNA Charities Shield final at Mandava Stadium on Saturday.
The defeat in Zvishavane came hard on the heels of a simmering crisis at the club after players had threatened to boycott a league match away to Bantu Rovers in Bulawayo last Thursday over unpaid salaries and bonuses.
It was the second industrial action by the players this season after another standoff at the club in June and there are already fears that this could have a negative impact on the club’s fortunes.
Caps United coach Taurai Mangwiro refused to read much into the off-field issues, saying he was happy with the draw as it would give his charges an opportunity to redeem themselves after last Saturday’s heavy defeat.
“It’s a welcome draw. After the humiliation we suffered to FC Platinum in the ZNA Charities Shield, the Chibuku Super Cup quarterfinal gives us a chance to redeem ourselves.
“It will obviously be a new game altogether and hopefully we will be able to put into practice some of the lessons we got from that embarrassing performance. We want to do well in this tournament and for that to happen, we need to play well against the tough teams. There are no easy matches at this stage of the competition,” said Mangwiro.
“I was obviously disappointed with the team’s performance, but it’s not the end of the world. It was just a bad day in the office and I believe we can bounce back. As coaches, we are always under pressure to deliver even when the team is losing or winning,” he said.
FC Platinum qualified for the quarter-finals after a 3-0 victory over Bantu Rovers in Norman Mapeza’s first game in charge while Caps United beat Chapungu 3-0 at Rufaro Stadium.
Bosso will be aiming to do well in the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals to atone for the 1-4 drubbing by Dynamos in the inaugural TM Pick ‘n’ Pay Challenge Cup final at the National Sports Stadium at the weekend.
Highlanders beat Shabanie Mine 1-0 in the first round of the Chibuku Super Cup at Ascot Stadium on August 17 through a goal by mid-season signing Pasca Manhanga while How Mine overcame Chicken Inn 1-0 in the first round at Mandava Stadium.
Highlanders, who are yet to win any piece of silverware this year, have a rich history in the Chibuku Super Cup dating back to their success in the inaugural edition in 1973 when it was the Chibuku Cup.
The Bulawayo giants went on to win the competition four more times in 1980, 1984, 1986 and 1989.
Giant killers Black Rhinos, who dumped Dynamos out of the competition in the first round, were drawn to face Triangle United, who eliminated Hwange on penalties in the first round. Triangle are already in the One Wallet Cup final.
Triangle goalkeepers’ coach Gift “Umbro” Muzadzi, who attended the draw, said he was happy with the outcome of the draw and was confident his team would progress to the last four.
“I think it was a fair draw especially if you look at the pairings that came out. I don’t think a lot of people expected Caps United to be drawn against FC Platinum after they had played each other last week, but that’s what you expect at these draws.
“We won’t be aiming too high, but we are here to compete and our aim is to reach the next stage and if possible play until the last game of the tournament,” said Muzadzi.
His opposite number Jostein Mathuthu also hailed the manner in which the draw was conducted, adding that his players were confident of doing well against Triangle.
“I think the draw has been conducted in a very fair environment. We wouldn’t have expected anything less than what we have been given. We are ready to face them, they (Triangle) are in the Premier League and so are we, they are playing well and again so are we.
“Well before the Dynamos match I believed they had the self-belief and confidence in themselves and every game that they play they really prove themselves to be worthy of a place in the PSL so they will be ready,” said Mathuthu.
Harare City, who thrashed ZPC Kariba 3-0 in the first round, face Chiredzi FC, who shocked Buffaloes 4-3 at Sakubva Stadium.
PSL competitions manager Elisha Mandireva conducted yesterday’s draw alongside PSL information technology and marketing manager Rodwell Thabe.
Winners of the trophy are set to walk away with $75 000 while the losing finalists will take home $50 000.
The two losing semi-finalists will each pocket $25 000 while teams that get knocked out at the quarter-final stage will walk away $20 000 richer.
The teams that were knocked out of the competition are guaranteed $15 000 each.
Draw: FC Platinum vs Caps United, How Mine vs Highlanders, Chiredzi vs Harare City, Black Rhinos vs Triangle