Ailing Harare giants CAPS United will be looking to progress to the semi-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup when they visit depleted Highlanders in the last of the country’s premier knockout competition at Barbourfields this afternoon.
The Chibuku Cup is CAPS United’s only realistic chance of silverware this season as their league campaign has completely gone off rail with the club virtually drawn into a relegation battle.
Makepekepe are having a difficult second half of the league season where they are yet to win a match in seven games.
In fact CAPS United have not won a match in the league in nine attempts overall with their only win coming in the Chibuku Cup when they edged Hwange 1-0 in the first round of the competition.
A loss for CAPS United could signal a full blown crisis for the Green Machine.
But this is a cup, which has eluded them since its return on the local scene a decade ago.
“At this juncture, we are in the Chibuku Super Cup and we would like to go as far as possible. And obviously because we are known as the Cup Kings, we have done well in Africa before. So our target is going back to the continent,” assistant coach Fungai Kwashi told reporters on Thursday.
“This is the route, the other one being the league competition. So we are serious and we are challenging ourselves to go a step further than we have done before in the Chibuku Super Cup.
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“We haven’t won the Chibuku Cup yet, but we are known as the Cup Kings. So it’s one cup which we need in our trophy cabinet. We have to try and give something back to the fans who have been supporting us through this tough period we are going through.
“We owe them a victory; we owe them a cup but like I said we are going to do this without putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves.”
CAPS United may have to do without key players William Manondo and Godknows Murwira, who were on national duty in Botswana yesterday.
Today’s hosts Highlanders have not done quite well in recent weeks with four defeats in their last five matches.
As if that is not enough, Bosso could be missing no less than eight players for the Chibuku Cup quarterfinal clash.
Stanley Ngala goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, Calvin Chigonero and left-back Archford Faira, Godfrey Makaruse and Darlington Mukuli are nursing injuries.
Vice-captain Peter Muduhwa and midfielder Brighton Manhire are away on national duty.
But Bosso assistant coach Madinda Ndlovu said they would give CAPS United a big fight.
“We have a lot of respect for Caps United, make no mistake about that, but we are not going to let them just go over our heads. We are going to give them a very big fight,” he said.
“I think at this point in time, the boys are picking up in terms of morale. However, we don't know how they will be by Sunday. It's like a money game so they have to give it their all in a cup game,”
Highlanders will be buoyed by the fact that they won the league meeting 2–1 back in July.