Mapeza wants Challenge Cup

HARARE - FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza wants to finish the season in style and has urged his side to win the Castle Challenge Cup when they welcome Harare City on Saturday at Mandava Stadium.

The Zvishavane-based side were crowned champions for the first time in their history right on the last day of the season following a 0-2 victory against Chapungu at Ascot Stadium.

But the celebrations cannot last too long because Mapeza’s side, who became the first team outside Harare and Bulawayo to win the championship since independence, have only two days left before they play in the Castle Challenge Cup.

Norman Mapeza

Mapeza said they will need to re-focus quickly against a Harare City side looking to make up for the disappointment of being relegated from the top flight.

“It’s the final game of the season and we just have to talk to the guys about the importance of winning it,” Mapeza said.

“I think we need to finish our season in style and we need to be fully focused on that match. We want to win for our fans and everybody who is associated with the club. It’s important to celebrate as we did at Ascot, enjoying the moment with our families and fans because it wasn’t easy. But this season could become not just great but fantastic if we are able to win the Castle Challenge Cup. It’s a great opportunity to win more silverware.”

Mapeza fears his side could miss out, however, if they let complacency set in.

“If you ask me who you think the favourites are now, I think it’s Harare City,” he said.

“They only have this possibility probably to salvage something after being relegated although they have also won the Chibuku Super Cup. For this reason, we must find motivation and find in ourselves the hunger to win this game. The game will be very difficult. I’m not talking tactically; I’m talking about motivation, the right fire in our soul and our hearts. If we have this in the same proportion as City, we have the possibility to win the Cup. Otherwise we risk a lot.”

For Harare City, Saturday’s match provides them with another chance to bag a second piece of silverware having already won the Chibuku Super Cup after beating How Mine 3-1 in the final. The Castle Lager Challenge Cup was introduced to celebrate the Premier Soccer League’s existence since 1992 and will feature the league champions against the Chibuku Super Cup winners.

The match will mark the end of the season, with the winner set to pocket $30 000 while the losers get $20 000.