High­landers avoid FC Plat­inum Chibuku Cup quar­ter-fi­nal ties

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo in Gweru

THERE was huge re­lief when High­landers FC were kept apart from FC Plat­inum and in­stead paired with Bu­l­awayo neigh­bours How Mine in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Chibuku Su­per Cup at yes­ter­day’s draw held in Gweru.

League lead­ers FC Plat­inum will face Triangle United at Gibbo Sta­dium in the Lowveld while de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Harare City take on ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Sta­dium. Ngezi Plat­inum Stars host strug­glers Tsholot­sho and all matches will be played this week­end.

“There was that ex­cite­ment that we will be drawn against FC Plat­inum, but look any op­po­nent at this stage is wor­thy. How­ever, we would have been hap­pier to meet FC Plat­inum be­cause they play an ex­cit­ing brand of foot­ball just like us,” said High­landers sec­re­tary-gen­eral Em­mett Ndlovu.

He said they would do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to win the cup, al­though they re­spect How Mine who were not rep­re­sented at yes­ter­day’s draw.

The Bu­l­awayo derby will be a re­peat of last year’s en­counter in which How Mine bun­dled out Bosso in the first round af­ter a penalty shootout.

Bosso will be seek­ing re­venge for that first-round knock­out which they lost 3-4 on penal­ties af­ter the two sides were dead­locked 1-1 af­ter reg­u­la­tion time.

How Mine’s Devon Chafa, Tim­o­thy Sithole, Heritein Ma­suku and vet­eran Mernard Mu­pera con­verted their spot kicks, while Won­der Sithole missed.

High­landers’ spot kicks were scored by Obidiah Tarumbwa, Nqo­bizitha Ma­suku and King Nadolo. Tendai Ngu­lube and Them­binkosi Si­mango failed to con­vert their ef­forts.

To reach the quar­ter-fi­nals, High­landers edged a bat­tling Mutare City Rovers 2-1, while How Mine per­formed a gi­ant killing act to eject Dy­namos 5-4 on penal­ties fol­low­ing a gru­elling goal­less stale­mate in nor­mal time.

FC Plat­inum spokesper­son Chido Chi­zondo felt the draw was fair. “To us, ev­ery­one and any­one would have been a fair op­po­nent. We hope to go all the way to the fi­nal be­cause if we are to get a dou­ble, it will be a bonus,” he said.

Harare City vice chair­man Chris Mbanga said: “We are ready for our op­po­nents. ZPC Kariba have not posed a threat to us and we are com­fort­able play­ing them. We want to de­fend our gold and get an­other dance in Africa.”

Tsholot­sho chair­man Mla­muli Phiri said they want to atone for their poor league show­ing by lift­ing the Chibuku Su­per Cup.

“They (Ngezi) beat us at home in the league and per­haps it’s now time for re­venge. We hope to progress to the next stage and even go on to win the cup and rep­re­sent Zim­babwe in the Caf Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup next year,” said Phiri.

Chibuku Su­per Cup brand man­ager Karen Dh­li­wayo wished all the eight teams luck in their games. “Some were slain in the firstround, but I want to wish you all the best,” said Dh­li­wayo.

Karen Dh­li­wayo, Chibuku brand man­ager, and Elisha Mandi­reva, the PSL com­pe­ti­tions man­ager con­duct the draw in Gweru yes­ter­day

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