By Eddie Chikamhi
HARARE giants Dynamos plunge into a battle that could decide whether, after four years of dominance on the domestic football scene when they have won just about everything, they end up empty-handed this season.
The Glamour Boys have a date against rivals Harare City in the final of the Chibuku Super Cup at the National Sports Stadium.
Harare City are appearing in the Chibuku Super Cup final for the second year running and high on their agenda will be the desire to make amends following a disappointing loss to FC Platinum in last year’s final.
History slightly favours Dynamos in meetings between the two rivals, but there was no winner when the sides met twice in the league this year.
But this is a Cup final and there has to be a loser and Harare City assistant coach Mike Madzivanyika warned that they will be out for some serious business.
The side was boosted by the return of skipper David Kutyauripo and winger Talent Chawapihwa who had missed a good part of the second half of the season due to injuries.
Madzivanyika, who is usually a reserved character, said they have done enough preparations for this battle.
“I think we have done most of our preparations and the boys are training well. But we will do most of our talking on the field of play,” said Madzivanyika.
City coach, Taurai Mangwiro, is expected to have some positive headaches with all his players declared fit for the game.
Harare City have over a dozen former Dynamos players who include their captain Kutyauripo, Martin Vengesai, Timire Mamvura, Themba Ndhlovu, Francisco Zekumbawira, Nathan Ziwini, goalkeepers Maxwell Nyamupangedengu and Tafadzwa Dube.
Harare City have indicated they are taking the final seriously and have demonstrated that by hiring a professional psychologist to work with their players.
The club’s secretary-general Matthew Marara said besides the $75 000 pay cheque for the winners, they are looking at the bigger picture as the Chibuku Super Cup champions get the ticket to represent the nation in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup tournament.
“We don’t have any other incentives for the team. The incentive is already there, that if we win this cup we are going to play in the African safari. So it’s a big incentive enough for any player and coach,” said Marara.
Harare City have been in fine form in this tournament, scoring 13 goals in three games on the way to the final. They have scored a third of the total goals scored already this year.
Last year, the whole tournament yielded 33 goals but 39 goals have been netted so far this year.
Dynamos assistant coach, Gift Muzadzi, believes the Glamour Boys are ready for the final.
“It’s a big game because this Cup carries the ticket to represent the country on the continent. It’s not just about winning the Cup. It’s largely about taking part in the Africa safari,” said Muzadzi.
“It has been quite some time since we made our mark on the continent. So we are hoping to win the Chibuku Cup and go all the way to participate in the CAF Confederation Cup where we also hope to do well.
“Like I said before, the semi-final match against Chapungu, we are dedicating this Cup to our supporters and it’s theirs. Come Saturday (today), I can tell you we are going to give everything for them on the pitch. I’m sure this is going to be one of the best finals in recent years.”
DeMbare will be without their vice-captain Stephen Alimenda, who is suspended after picking up two yellow cards.
Fullback Ocean Mushure will lead the giants in battle in the absence of team captain Augustine Mbara, who is recovering from injury.
Dynamos beat Whawha, FC Platinum and Chapungu on their way to the final.
Their chief striker — Rodreck Mutuma — was expected to undergo a fitness test yesterday after missing a day of training.
Supporters will part with US$3 for the rest of the ground, $5 VIP while the VVIP is only by invitation. Under-15s from Dynamos and Harare City will warm the stage before the senior teams come out at 3pm.
The sponsors, Delta Beverages, will also conduct draws for the Chibuku Super Cup promotion which has been running from July.
The company’s Chibuku Brand Manager, Karen Dhliwayo said the stage is set for the grand finale.
“There are lot of activities lined up for the fans. The gates open at 11:00am and the first 10 000 fans that make their way to the National Sports Stadium will receive free give-aways. So we encourage people to come in their thousands.
“It will be a carnival of events with a procession lined up from Chibuku Harare Brewery to the stadium and then a display by the Chibuku cheerleaders.
“We want to beat last year’s record in terms of the attendance . . . and for the rest of the guys out there who have entered our competitions for the Chibuku Super Cup, 10 TVs are up for grabs as well as 10 hi-fi systems. One lucky customer is going to drive away in a brand new 16-seater Nissan mini-bus.
“We are very excited that the teams have supported us this far. We are looking forward to making the Chibuku Super Cup even bigger and better in the years to come,” said Dhliwayo. The Herald