Pressure on Bosso, DeMbare in Chibuku Cup
By Ricky Zililo
Big guns, Highlanders, Caps United and Dynamos face acid tests to clear the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals hurdle and grab silverware this season.
The country’s traditional giants were separated in the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals, leaving a possibility of them facing off in the semi-finals or even bowing out of the tournament, whose winners will represent Zimbabwe in the 2019 Caf Confederation Cup.
Highlanders this afternoon face defending champions Harare City, who also lifted the 2015 edition, at Rufaro Stadium.
Highlanders will be out for revenge against a side that knocked them out of the cup in the first round last season.
However, history favours Harare City to knock out Bosso, having sent Highlanders packing in the semi-finals of the 2014 edition.
But Harare City are wary of Highlanders.
“Look, we are expecting a very tough game against Highlanders. It’s a big encounter which the best team of the day will win. We could have a bit of an advantage playing at home, in familiar environment and conditions.
“But, the match won’t be easy; it will take the best team of the afternoon to progress to the semi-finals. We are approaching the encounter like any other game, we have to carry ourselves properly, look at the opposition and try to counter what they can do,” Harare City coach Mark Harrison told our Harare Bureau.
Bosso are facing Harare City for the second time this season, having beaten them 2-1 in a league match at Rufaro on June 2 and remain bullish ahead of the tie.
“We’ve played Harare City before and know what to expect. I think besides the Rufaro Stadium environment that they are accustomed to, they don’t have any advantage. We are going there with a positive mind to try and win and get to the final,” said Madinda Ndlovu, the Highlanders coach.
The battle between Highlanders and Harare City will be won and lost in midfield.
Highlanders’ midfield options are Denzel Khumalo, Adrian Silla, Brian Banda, Ben Musaka, Nigel Makumbe, Godfrey Makaruse and Gabriel Nyoni, while Harare City’s are Tendai Samanja, Ishmael Wadi, Moses Muchenje, Protasho Kabwe, Tatenda Tumba and Jerry Chipangura.
Caps United face Chapungu, who claimed the scalp of league champions and 2014 Chibuku Super Cup winners FC Platinum 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 deadlock in regulation time.
Troubled Harare giants Dynamos, starring relegation in the face, entertain Herentals tomorrow. On paper it may appear an easy assignment for Dynamos, but it is Herentals who will feel lucky to be drawn against a struggling DeMbare side that has been terrible in the league.
Dynamos eased 1-0 past Bulawayo Chiefs, while Herentals pulled a shocker against Ngezi Platinum Stars when they forced the first round tie into penalties after a 1-1 stalemate. Herentals went on to win 4-3 on penalties.
Triangle United, who saw off Shabanie Mine 4-1 after a penalty shootout, will be at home to Nichrut, who dumped out Black Rhinos 2-1 in the first round.
Today: Harare City v Highlanders (Rufaro), Chapungu v Caps United (Ascot)
Tomorrow: Dynamos v Herentals (Rufaro), Triangle United v Nichrut (Gibbo). The Chronicle.