DeMbare eye early Xmas

HARARE - Dynamos begin the hunt for the Chibuku Super Cup with a tricky first round tie against Bulawayo City at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon.

The Chibuku Cup has eluded the Harare giants in the past and head coach Lloyd Mutasa is keen to rewrite the club’s history by adding the silverware this season.

Mutasa, who will be missing the services of the injured trio of Musa Madhiri, Carlos Rusere and Obey Mwerahari, has a positive outlook of this year’s edition and believes his charges have what it takes to “drink” their way into the African Safari.

The winners of the Chibuku Super Cup get the ticket to represent the country in the African Confederation Cup.

“It is another journey that we begin different from the league but cup games are difficult in the sense that if you don’t utilise your chances; you don’t get a second chance so in order for us to reach the intended destination, we have to be clinical and get the positive results,” Mutasa told the Daily News on Sunday.

“Bulawayo City are a tough ask and we have to be at our best to dislodge them. This tournament has eluded us and it is one competition that we are yet to win, so we must get over this hurdle first as we march towards atoning for our past failures.”

Dynamos have been given the green light to use on-fire hitman Christian Ntouba after the Premier Soccer League ruled that the Cameroonian’s red card against Highlanders a fortnight ago that saw him miss action against CAPS United will only be applicable in league matches.

“Christian is eligible to play which is obviously a huge boost for us. He enjoys playing at Rufaro and he has scored many goals there,” Mutasa said.

“We saw the hunger he has towards scoring in the few minutes we played against Chapungu at Ascot Stadium, he nearly scored with a header.

“The youngsters tell us that this cup presents to them an opportunity for an early Christmas present so they are self-motivated to go out there and make an impression which also takes off a lot of pressure from the technical department because the boys know that they must win every match in order to lift the Cup.”

Mutasa added: “This is a very important tournament on the basis if you win this competition then you get to represent Zimbabwe in the African Confederations Cup. Everyone wants to play in the African Safari and as Dynamos it should be a culture that if it’s not the Champions League then it has to be this competition year in year out.”

Meanwhile, Bulawayo City coach Mandla Mpofu is targeting a semi-final berth and is hoping to build on the performance of their last meeting with Dynamos in a league match which they narrowly lost 4-3.

“We would want to win the competition but in a worst case scenario reaching the semi-finals will not be a bad achievement. We respect them as a big club but we have played them in the past, they are not invincible. We look forward to a good game,” Mpofu said.

In another first round match on this afternoon, defending champions Ngezi Platinum Stars host CAPS United at Baobab Stadium.

Ngezi coach Tonderai Ndiraya said: “We are facing a very good side, a side which is very high in confidence so that makes the whole match very difficult for us. We are also facing a side which has been very active in the past week and that is a little bit of a disadvantage to us because we haven’t been able to play any competitive match in the past week, so we would need to dig deep for us to win this match.

“CAPS have won crucial games in the past week, firstly I think against Dynamos, it was a very crucial victory in terms of boosting their confidence. They also won in the mid-week against Hwange which is very difficult venue to go to and come out with three points so that has really given them a lot of confidence going into our match on Sunday (today).

“But we remain hopeful, we remain very confident, especially against the background of the record we have at home. We haven’t lost a match in a while now I think in over a year so that is really giving us a lot of confidence. I think CAPS United have also to fight very hard for them to go through to the next round but what we are looking for as a team is to get to the next round of the competition.

“We are the holders so we wouldn’t want to be eliminated at this early stage so we have really worked hard this week to prepare ourselves for this very difficult game against CAPS.

“We mustn’t also forget that CAPS are the champions of the Castle Lager Premier League and that has also given them an edge but we mustn’t also forget that we are the holders of the Cup and our target is to retain the Cup this year so it’s going to be an exciting match, exciting for the fans, exciting for everyone who is going to watch the match and I hope the best team of the day will win on Sunday and our hope is that we will be that team which will go through to the next round.

Chibuku Super Cup

First Round Fxtures Today:

Dynamos v Bulawayo City (Rufaro), Ngezi Platinum v CAPS United (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Shabanie Mine (Nyamhunga), How Mine v Bantu Rovers (Ascot), Highlanders v Harare City (Mandava)

Comments (1)

let the ball play

g40 - 26 September 2017

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