HARARE City are bubbling with confidence ahead of their Chibuku Super Cup semi-final clash against Bulawayo giants Highlanders at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow and are hoping to reach their first-ever final.
They are inspired by Triangle, who won the One Wallet Cup final against Dynamos, in only their second season in top-flight football.
The first semi-final today will feature FC Platinum and Black Rhinos at Rufaro with both matches set to be broadcast live on SuperSport.
Two players, James Jam of Harare City and Obey Gada of Black Rhinos, are suspended and will not take part in the semi-final battles.
Jam accumulated two consecutive yellow cards in the first round and quarter-final, while Gada is serving his second match suspension for a red card he was awarded in the first round.
The Sunshine City Boys coach Masimba Dinyero, whose men beat Chiredzi 2-1 to advance to the semi-finals, however, appeared unmoved by the absence of one of his star player.
Buoyed by his side’s recent 1-0 triumph over the Bulawayo giants, Dinyero said his charges were ready to face Highlanders hoping to reach the final of the $500 000 cup.
“Yes we beat them 1-0 recently, but I don’t depend on history. Every game is new and I approach matches the same way, whether it’s a cup game or league game. Morale is very high in camp and everyone is looking forward to the game. I have all my players available, save for James Jam who is suspended for picking up two yellow cards in the first round and the quarter-finals. We are ready to face them [Highlanders],” Dinyero said.
With Highlanders, who suffered a demoralising 4-0 defeat to rivals Caps United in a league match last weekend, still to win a match in Harare this season, Dinyero’s men should fancy their chances of reaching the final of the Chibuku Super Cup.
Highlanders, now under the guidance of interim coach Mark Mathe following the departure of Zambian Kelvin Kaindu, also still have sad memories of their league meeting with Harare City last season when they were pummelled 4-0 — a result that eventually saw them being beaten to the finishing line by rivals Dynamos.
Bosso have appointed veteran coach Cosmas Zulu, who helped Luke Masomere win the league title with AmaZulu in 2003, to assist Mathe.
Zulu started work on Thursday, but will see his charges arrive in Harare without Gabriel Nyoni and Joel Ngodzo through injuries.
But then again, Highlanders have a rich history in this cup having won it at its inauguration in 1973 before lifting it again in 1980, 1984, 1986 and 1989.
After edging overcoming How Mine 3-1 in the quarter-finals to power their way to the semi finals, the Bulawayo giants, also aware the championship is now out of their reach, will be seeking to bag the trophy.
Winners of the tournament will walk away with $75 000, runners-up will get $50 000, while losing semi-finalists will get $25 000 each.