BULAWAYO giants Highlanders and FC Platinum were separated during the semi-final draw of the Chibuku Super Cup conducted at Ascot Stadium in Gweru yesterday.
According to the draw, conducted live for the first time on SuperSport by Chibuku general manager Kudakwashe Chimwanda, Premier Soccer League competitions manager Elisha Mandireva and Miss Gweru pageant models, FC Platinum avoided Bosso as they were drawn to face army side Black Rhinos who mauled Triangle 4-0 in the last quarter-final clash at Ascot Stadium yesterday.
FC Platinum, by virtue of being the first team to be pulled out of the hat, will be at home in the first semi- final, and so will be Highlanders who were the second team to be picked.
Bosso will face an improving Harare City at Hartsfield Stadium in the second semi-final.
Highlanders forward Charles Sibanda said they were happy to play at home in the next game.
“We will be at home. So I think it is an advantage for us. We are coming from a big victory against How Mine and that has really motivated us after we had lost to Dynamos in the TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup. We are looking forward to proceed to the final,” Sibanda said.
FC Platinum were also quick to welcome the draw. Defender Qadr Amini said they were happy to avoid Highlanders at this stage of the tournament.
“It’s a better draw than it could have been,” Amini said. “We are happy to avoid Highlanders. In my opinion, it will make the tournament more exciting if we meet Highlanders in the final. If you notice, in these tournaments, we rarely get knocked out in the early stages. We normally reach the final. There is just one occasion this time when we got knocked out in the early rounds of the NetOne Wallet Cup. So we will be happy to have avoided Highlanders,” Amini said.
Black Rhinos coach Jostein Mathuthu was thrilled with his team’s progress to the semi-finals.
“I stand here proud of my team. They have done wonders today (yesterday). They are a transformed side since I took over. They are a unique side and I am just happy to be coaching a team with self-belief like this. More is going to come and God will continue to help,” Mathuthu said.
Highlanders powered their way into the semi-finals of the tournament after thumping How Mine 3-1 at Hartsfield on Sunday. Defender Felix Chindungwe opened the floodgates with a headed goal in the first half. Dumisani Ndlovu headed in the second in the second half before Sibanda slotted in a penalty.
FC Platinum advanced to the last four of the tournament after booting out troubled Harare giants Caps United when they handed them a 1-0 defeat via an own goal by Caps United defender George Nyirenda.
Harare City beat Chiredzi 2-1 via Osborne Mukuradare and Martin Vengesayi’s goals.