CHIBUKU SU­PER CUP DRAW OUT Tsholot­sho, Hwange boldly de­clare in­ten­tions

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

REL­E­GA­TION threat­ened Tsholot­sho FC and Hwange have boldly de­clared that they are gun­ning for the Chibuku Su­per Cup to make up for their dis­ap­point­ing league run.

The Pre­mier Soc­cer League held the Chibuku Su­per Cup draw in Harare yes­ter­day with Tsholot­sho set to face cham­pi­onship favourites Caps United in the first round, while Hwange will bat­tle it out against Ngezi Plat­inum Stars.

The first round of the tour­na­ment will be played on the week­end of Septem­ber 16-18 and the quar­ter-fi­nals be­tween Septem­ber 30-Oc­to­ber 2. The semi-fi­nals will be played on the week­end of Oc­to­ber 21-23, with the fi­nal set for Novem­ber 5. Win­ners of the tour­na­ment will take home $75 000.

While other coaches pre­ferred to be diplo­matic about the draw say­ing they will take each game as it comes, Tsholot­sho coach Lizwe Sweswe said he was happy with the draw.

“I’m happy to have been drawn against Caps United in the first round be­cause if you’re a man, you mustn’t be afraid of chal­lenges. You need big chal­lenges like fac­ing a big team. Foot­ball is a men’s game and if you see your­self afraid of your op­po­si­tion, then you’re not made for the big league,” said Sweswe.

“This game against Caps United will in it­self mo­ti­vate the boys to work harder and progress to the next stage, with the hope of go­ing all the way to the fi­nal and lift­ing the cup.”

Tsholot­sho are sec­ond from the bot­tom on the league ta­ble and pro­duced a shocker by beat­ing How Mine 2-1 at the week­end.

Tsholot­sho will be hop­ing that their win over the gold min­ers is the break they have been wait­ing for in their seven-match win­less run.

They need to be at their best if they are to knock out Caps United from the 16-team tour­na­ment.

Hwange gaffer Me­belo Njekwa said they need to make up for the dis­as­trous sea­son by win­ning the cup.

“We just should be pos­i­tive and come up with some­thing to make up for our poor run in the league. Ngezi are a good side, but I’m con­fi­dent and al­ready look­ing for­ward to the start of the tour­na­ment as we want to be in the fi­nal and win this Chibuku Su­per Cup,” said Njekwa.

“There’s unity and re­spect in our camp, which makes work­ing to­wards our tar­get eas­ier. Of late, the guys have been work­ing hard af­ter the pep talk we had telling them that they should use this op­por­tu­nity to mar­ket them­selves. Go­ing all the way to lift­ing the tro­phy is a good plat­form to mar­ket one­self,” he said.

High­landers coach Erol Ak­bay is wary of their “soft” tar­gets Mutare City Rovers, who are fight­ing rel­e­ga­tion.

Bosso will be hop­ing to avoid an em­bar­rass­ing exit from the tour­na­ment at the hands of Rovers, who beat them 1-2 in a league match last month.

“Cup games are not easy and Mutare City are dif­fi­cult op­po­nents. They beat us be­fore and we have to be cau­tious. We have to pre­pare well for the cup,” said Ak­bay.

Dy­namos’ coach Lloyd Mu­tasa whose side will face How Mine said: “I think this is a fair draw. We have to brace for the chal­lenge that we will get from How Mine.”

Cha­pungu coach John Nyikadzino is ex­pect­ing a tight first round en­counter against FC Plat­inum.

“FC Plat­inum is one of the few or­gan­ised teams in our league and be­ing at the top of the ta­ble, they will want to make it dif­fi­cult for us. How­ever, we’ll try to make sure that we progress to the next stage,” Nyikadzino said.

Act­ing Bu­l­awayo City coach Try Ncube, whose side will be away to ZPC Kariba said:

“All the teams that were seeded are tricky op­po­si­tion and fac­ing ZPC Kariba is the same as meet­ing FC Plat­inum, Caps United, High­landers or even Dy­namos. We want to do well in the tour­na­ment and at the mo­ment our fo­cus will be on clear­ing the ZPC Kariba hur­dle.”

Harare City be­gin their Chibuku Su­per Cup de­fence against Bor­der Strik­ers, while reign­ing league cham­pi­ons Chicken Inn will be away to Tri­an­gle United.

Lizwe Sweswe Me­belo Njekwa

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