Battle for Chibuku

HARARE - Harare City coach Mark Harrison is not reading much into his team’s previous exploits in the Chibuku Super Cup as they prepare to face Triangle United at Gibbo Stadium tomorrow.

The Sunshine Boys are the most successful team in the competition since its return as they have won two titles out of a possible four.

This year, City have been excellent in their title defence after dismissing Bulawayo City in the first round before dumping Highlanders in the quarter-finals.

In the semi-finals, the Sunshine Boys were also outstanding as they dispatched CAPS United to book their place in the final against the Sugar Sugar Boys.

But for Harrison all this will count for nothing if they don’t win tomorrow.

“I don’t think records mean anything. We are going into the final, it’s one game, 90 minutes or it will go into extra time and that’s our only focus,” he said.

“If we do win it for the third time, great, but it doesn’t make any difference in our approach.”

Triangle have had a decent campaign in which they are sitting fourth on the log table and Harrison expects a difficult match.

“They are a difficult team, make no mistake, they are fourth in the league and have had a very good season. We are expecting it to be a very tough game,” he said.

“We beat them at home in the league and we drew away but it means nothing this is a cup final. Surely, it will not be an easy fixture for us.”

Taurai Mangwiro was the coach when City won their first Chibuku Super Cup after beating Dynamos at the National Sports Stadium in 2015 and could become the first coach to win the cup twice in five years.

Harrison, however, does not feel Mangwiro’s tenure with Harare City will work against his charges.

“He knows all our players, we know all their players. Every coach probably knows all the players in Zimbabwe but it’s not really an advantage,” he said.

“I’m sure the way we play is quite different from the way they used to play when he was at Harare City.”

Harrison’s only worry is the choice of the venue for the final which he feels gave their opponents added advantage.

“It’s disappointing to play in Triangle. It’s a difficult arrangement for us,” he said. “It’s their home ground, they know it inside out.

“Not only that, logistics have been difficult for us, there is no accommodation there for us, we have to sleep and camp in Masvingo which is two hours outside Triangle.

“We have to travel two hours on the day of the game and there are no training facilities down there so it ruins our preparations, it’s a very difficult arrangement for us. I don’t think that was taken into consideration when they took the game to Triangle.”

Harare City chairperson Alois Masepe concurred with Harrison’s sentiments saying a neutral venue would have been more appropriate.

“We will fulfil the match definitely but we also thought the organisers would have chosen a neutral venue for the final,” Masepe said.

“I think there is a huge difference which people don’t really understand that Rufaro is not our training ground, it’s just a communal home ground for a number of Harare-based clubs. We train elsewhere and play at Rufaro which is different with Triangle.”


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