HARARE City are confident of winning the Super Chibuku Cup after they were yesterday paired against Bulawayo City in the competition’s semi-final draw held in the capital.
BY HENRY MHARA
The other semi-final will pit How Mine against either Shabanie Mine or Caps United.
The quarter-final match between Shabanie Mine and Caps United was abandoned in the second half because of crowd trouble, with the former leading one-nil.
A Premier Soccer League (PSL) ad hoc committee was set to sit last night to pass judgment on the matter to pave way for the semi-final matches to proceed at the weekend.
Harare City, winners of the competition in 2015, which saw them representing the country in the Caf Confederation Cup the following season, are confident of repeating the same feat after they were handed what they said was a good semi-final draw.
City representative at the draw Hope Chizuzu said: “Technically, we have an advantage over Bulawayo City because our coach (Philani Ncube) used to coach that team and worked with the majority of the players who are still with the team, so he knows how they play.
“Bulawayo City are also not playing well in the league at the moment. They are struggling for points, for form and are low on confidence, so I think they are up there for the taking. There is no better time to face them than at the moment.”
When the two teams last met in the league, it was Bulawayo City who came tops, scoring the winner right at the death to steal the three points.
“We were not only playing without confidence that time, but even cohesion-wise, we were not a compact side. It is one game we thought we were very unlucky to lose,” Chizuzu said.
“A lot has changed since then. Bulawayo City are not the same as they were then. We have improved a lot, and more so, we have done very well in this competition over the years no matter who we face. We have beaten big teams, your Dynamos, Highlanders, your ZPC Kariba, FC Platinum, so we are not worried about the next challenge.
“We have played every semi-final of this competition since it started, so this should not be anything different. We are firm favourites to win the tournament. We will beat Bulawayo City and we expect How Mine to win their match and we will face them in the final.
“It would be another good cup final for us. We have been good ambassadors of this competition. We have played very well, with no incidents. I’m sure the PSL and the sponsors are happy that Harare City are still in the
Bulawayo City committee member Lindela Tshuma was equally upbeat.
“It’s a fair draw and being among the last four teams, it can go either way. We have beaten Dynamos (in the first round), the current log leaders, so as much as we won’t underestimate Harare City, we are prepared and the better team will win.”
Team coach Mandla Mpofu has already declared his ambition to reach the competition’s finals and Tshuma backs him to achieve it.
“The coach has said he wants to reach the final. It is every coach’s ambition to do well. It would be a big bonus for him considering it’s his first year with the club,” he said.
“He has not done very well in the league, but he has promised we will survive relegation and this is a chance to win something and represent Zimbabwe next year, so he has to be ambitious and go for gold.”
The PSL said the venues would be announced in due course.
Chibuku semi-final draw:
How Mine v Shabanie Mine/Caps United
Bulawayo City v Harare City