BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS and Chicken Inn might have qualified for the Chibuku Super Cup quarters, but their matches against Bulawayo City and Bulawayo Chiefs respectively will determine who finishes top.
A top finish is important as it determines who plays their quarterfinal match at Barbourfields Stadium, while also avoiding other top-of-the-table finishers from others pools.
Chicken Inn lead Group 2 with 11 points and take on Bulawayo Chiefs at Barboufields this afternoon, while Highlanders, on the second spot with nine points, clash with Bulawayo City at the same venue tomorrow.
Winless Bulawayo Chiefs and Bulawayo City, who have won one match, have been eliminated.
The winner of Group 2 will play their quarterfinal tie against the runners-up in Group 4 at Barbourfields while runners-up in Group 2 travel to Mandava Stadium for the quarter-finals.
If Chicken Inn beat Chiefs today, they are assured of playing at Barbourfields and Highlanders will be travelling to Zvishavane to take on either Ngezi Platinum Stars or FC Platinum in the quarterfinals.
Highlanders assistant coach Bekithember Ndlovu prays that Chicken Inn lose to Chiefs and Highlanders prevail over the local authority side as the Bulawayo giants are comfortable playing on their home turf at Emagumeni.
“For the game against Bulawayo City, we will pick the strongest team. We are not relaxed because we want a positive result. We want to be at top of the log standings depending on the Chicken Inn’s result against Bulawayo Chiefs. We want to be on the top so that we remain at Barbourfields and use home advantage in the quarterfinals. If we are number, two we are going to Mandava. Of course, there are no fans, but we are used to Barbourfields. We have played our five games at Barbourfields, it is already an advantage and we are comfortable playing there. I guess clubs playing at Mandava are comfortable there as well,” Ndlovu said.
The man to watch at Highlanders is Lynoth Chikuhwa who has scored two goals for the Bulawayo giants in the tournament, overshadowing Washington Nyavaya, who started the competition on a bang.
Today: Black Rhinos v Manica Diamonds (Baobab, 11am), Ngezi Platinum Stars v FC Platinum (Mandava, 11am), Tenax v Cranborne Bullets (Sakubva, 11am), Chicken Inn v Bulawayo Chiefs (Barbourfields, 1pm)
Tomorrow: Triangle United v WhaWha (Mandava, 11pm), Bulawayo City v Highlanders (Barbourfields, 1pm).
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