Giants separated - as they get fair Chibuku Super Cup draw

HARARE - Premier Soccer League (PSL) giants were separated in the Chibuku Super Cup first round draw conducted in the capital yesterday.

This year’s tournament will begin in the preliminary stages with Chapungu facing Mutare City Rovers to determine who will join the other 15 Premiership clubs after Chicken Inn were left out from this year’s edition as they are serving a one-year suspension for bringing the game into disrepute last season.

Chapungu will host Rovers at Ascot on September 8 with the winner of that tie going on to meet FC Platinum in the first round on the weekend of September 22-23.

Defending champions Harare City were handed a relatively easy fixture after they were paired against Bulawayo City at home in the first round.

The Sunshine Boys wrote their own piece of history in the tournament by becoming the first team to lift the Chibuku Cup twice since it returned four years ago after beating How Mine 3-1 in the final at Rufaro Stadium.

Despite winning the prestigious tournament, Harare City, turned down an opportunity to represent the country in the 2018 edition of the African Confederation Cup citing financial challenges.

In other matches that were drawn yesterday, fading Harare giants Dynamos welcome Bulawayo Chiefs at home while reigning league champions FC Platinum will face the winner between Chapungu and Mutare City.

2016 Chibuku champions Ngezi Platinum Stars were drawn against Herentals while CAPS United were handed a tricky fixture against ZPC Kariba.

Triangle will welcome Shabanie Mine at Gibbo Stadium while Bulawayo giants Highlanders entertain Yadah FC at Barbourfields Stadium.

Black Rhinos will be at home against newboys Nichrut FC.

Speaking on the sidelines of the draw, Bulawayo Chiefs coach Garthly Chipuka welcomed the draw but was quick to acknowledge it will not be an easy match against DeMbare.

“It’s going to be a tough match there is no doubt about that. They beat us in the league here in Harare and we are expecting a very tough match again this time. They are historical giants and we need to be at our best if we are to salvage a positive result,” he said.

CAPS United chief executive Cuthbert Chitima is relatively confident about his team’s chances of reaching the final.

“Our expectations are very high. The good thing is that we are not facing a team coming from another league. So to me, the draw that we got today is a fair one although we are not playing against a bad team,” Chitima said.

“You know with cup games it’s tricky, they have nothing to do with your current form; anything can happen but we are very confident that we can go through to the finals.”

Ngezi Platinum chairperson, Jeremiah Gasiteni said his team is determined to win the league and cup double.

The Mhondoro-Ngezi-based side are currently second on the log table four points behind log leaders FC Platinum.

Premier Soccer League chief executive Kenny Ndebele said: “Through our partnership with Delta Beverages, we have managed to build a strong brand in the Chibuku Super Cup, our biggest cup competition which continuously provides our players with the opportunity to showcase their talent.”

Full draw:

Preliminary Stage: Chapungu v Mutare City

First Round: FC Platinum v Chapungu/Mutare City, Ngezi Platinum v Herentals, CAPS United v ZPC Kariba, Triangle v Shabanie Mine, Highlanders v Yadah, Harare City v Bulawayo City, Black Rhinos v Nichrut, Dynamos v Bulawayo Chiefs

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