DETHRONED league champions Dynamos meet old foes Highlanders in pick of the fixtures following the Easycall Cup semi-final draw conducted in Harare yesterday.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Newly-crowned Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions, Chicken Inn have been drawn against Harare giants, Caps United in what promises to be an intriguing clash. Dynamos team manager, Richard Chihoro welcomed the draw.
“It’s a good draw. We will be ready for them. It will be an interesting match against Highlanders. We have a good history against them in the league, but this, being a cup game, it will not be easy, more so playing at Barbourfields Stadium,” he said.
The semi-finals have been scheduled for Barbourfields Stadium on December 5 and 6. It is the first time in the history of the competition that Bulawayo will be hosting the matches.
There was no seeding at the draw and the teams picked first — Highlanders and Caps United — will be technically the home teams.
Highlanders have not beaten Dynamos in the league since 2006, but they overcame their opponents in the Zimbabwe National Army Charity Shield early this year with veteran forward, Obadiah Tarumbwa scoring the solitary goal.
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Bosso last beat Dynamos in 2011 in the Independence trophy, but only on penalties, following a goalless draw in regulation time.
In league meetings this term, Dynamos – triumphed 3-2 in a controversial tie in Harare and then followed that up with a 1-0 victory in Bulawayo.
Bosso vice-chairman, Mgcini Mpofu, who attended the draw, said: “This is an opportunity, not only to redeem ourselves, but it also gives us a chance to boost our coffers ahead of the festive season. It’s what we had wished for- to get rid of Dynamos to be done and dusted.”
Highlanders, who had a miserable campaign this season, have picked form – winning their last two matches against Hwange and Buffaloes – lifting them to sixth position on the league table, with one match left, and they are likely to face Dynamos with their confidence high.
Caps United coach, Lloyd Chitembwe said the draw was tough.
“It’s a difficult draw in the sense that Chicken Inn are on a high. They have been crowned champions, that in itself makes it a very difficult pairing. We will try to do our best. Obviously, we are an ambitious club and the last couple of games have been special moments for us and this is one game we believe is very important for us and we have to try and win,” he said.
“Dynamos, Caps United and Highlanders have massive history. Chicken Inn are also coming up and I think it will be a very exciting tournament.”
Caps United enjoyed superiority over Chicken Inn in their meetings this season, winning 2-0 in Harare before edging them 2-1 in Bulawayo. Winners of the Easycall Cup are set to pocket $80 000, runners-up $50 000, while losing finalists get $30 000.
Losing quarter-finalists will get $20 000 each.