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Mighty Bulls optimistic

BANCABC Sup8r Cup defending champions Motor Action are optimistic of retaining the football Cup.

BANCABC Sup8r Cup defending champions Motor Action are optimistic of retaining the football  Cup and have taunted their opponent Monomotapa at the quarterfinals stage as “our customers”.

By Henry Mhara

The competition was launched last night in Harare with the regional banking group announcing a lucrative $258 000 package for the eight participating clubs.

Winners of this year’s edition will get $120 000, up from the $40 000 that the Mighty Bulls got after winning it in 2011.

Runners-up will go home $50 000 richer while the semi-finalists will get $20 000.

All the participating teams are at least assured of something, with the quarter-finalist getting $12 000.

The tournament, which is played by the eight teams which finished in the top in the previous season, did not take place last season owing to fixture congestion.

The draw for the tournament was held during the launch with league champions Dynamos set to play Buffaloes at Gibbo Stadium in Chiredzi in the first quarter-finals. The tournament gets underway at the quarterfinal stage on the weekend of June 28-30.

Highlanders were drawn against FC Platinum, in what is arguably the biggest match at the initial stage. The match will be played at Mucheke Stadium.

Shabanie Mine will have “home advantage” when they welcome Chicken Inn in Zvishavane’s Mandava Stadium, but there is no doubt the match between the Mighty Bulls and Monoz at Gibbo is likely to attract some attention.

Not only does this match pit the defending champions against one of the most entertaining teams in the league, but this is a match that will be played on the same venue and same day that crowd pullers Dynamos engage Buffaloes.

Premier Soccer League chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele said they have fixtured two matches at Gibbo, on the same day, to allow live broadcasting of the games on SuperSport. All the matches will be broadcast live on the subscription television channel.

Motor Action vice-chairman Simeon Jamanda said, “I feel sorry for Monomotapa because we have dealt with them before in other tournaments that we have eliminated them. It will not be any different this time around. We are not in this competition only as the defending champions, but we also qualified as the best of the eight of the preceding season so I think we have a double reason of getting the trophy back to Henry Chapman Drive, Motor Action Sports Club.”

Monoz treasurer Febber Mapiringanwa said, “Motor Action has given us troubles before in cup competition and this is revenge time. When we were drawn against Motor Action I almost jumped with jubilation because we have been given a chance to atone for all the anguish they have put us through.”

But like in any Cup draws, it is the big teams that are always expected to go all the way. Dynamos, the 2010 BancABC champions and 2011 losing semi-finalists Highlanders remain big favourites to win the cup.

Dynamos vice-chairman Webster Chikengezha is cautious though. “It’s those small teams that have always given us problems. We are very cognisant of that fact and we should be well prepared for Buffaloes. I would also want to thank BancABC for the show of confidence in our league. We would want to see more companies coming on board.”

Highlanders chairperson Peter Dube said, “Our matches against FC Platinum have always been entertaining, full of thrills and this one I suppose, is not going to be an exception. We look forward to providing entrainment to the supporters, the sponsors and football at large.”

Semifinals draw: Winner Dynamos/Buffaloes v Winner Chicken Inn/ Shabanie Mine Winner Highlanders/FC Platinum v Winner Monoz/ Mighty Bulls.