Gi­ants kept apart in Chibuku Cup draw

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Grace Chin­goma

THE Chibuku Su­per Cup dream fi­nal is still on af­ter Pre­mier­ship pace­set­ters FC Plat­inum and High­landers were kept apart in the semi-fi­nals at a draw which was con­ducted at the Premier Soc­cer League of­fices in Harare yes­ter­day.

The two avoided each other when Nor­man Mapeza’s FC Plat­inum were drawn against Harare City while Erol Ak­bay and his charges at Bosso will bat­tle it out with new­boys Ngezi Plat­inum in the other semi-fi­nal match.

Af­ter league heavy­weights such as Dy­namos and Caps United fell by the way side in the first round, the fo­cus has shifted on the two South­ern Re­gion teams, FC Plat­inum and High­landers, which are also in­volved in the fight for the league ti­tle and re­main on course for a dou­ble should they pre­vail in their semi-fi­nal en­coun­ters.

Af­ter the draw, Bosso rep­re­sen­ta­tive Der­rick Gi­jima de­clared that they are gun­ning for the tro­phy and are look­ing to get past Ngezi Plat­inum in a fort­night.

The semis have been sched­uled for the week­end of Oc­to­ber 22 to 23 and the PSL, in con­sul­ta­tion with broad­caster Su­perS­port, will de­ter­mine the venues for the two matches.

Chibuku Su­per Cup fi­nal would be on Novem­ber 5 and the team which wins will play in the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup next year.

“I think it is a de­cent draw be­cause all the four teams left are play­ing some good foot­ball and it is for any­one to lose it. We re­spect Ngezi and I hope we will have a good game, beat them and progress.

“We re­cently met in a good game, they were very bal­anced but showed char­ac­ter that the game is never won be­fore 90 min­utes.

“Last year we lost to How Mine in the first round but we have turned around the ta­bles and play­ing good foot­ball. We are not look­ing back and the next thing is to prob­a­bly lift the tro­phy. We are play­ing very well in the league and we have gained mo­men­tum,” said Gi­jima.

Ngezi Plat­inum chair­man Jeremiah Ga­siteni also de­scribed the draw as fair and is also con­fi­dent that their fairy­tale run may con­tinue un­til they reach the fi­nal.

He said they did their home­work well and are now en­joy­ing the ben­e­fits.

“I think it is a fair draw. As for High­landers, I think it gives us a chance to re­venge what they did to us when we went to Bu­l­awayo. I think it would be a good op­por­tu­nity for the guys to re­deem them­selves. “We are now look­ing for­ward to the fi­nal, I think we are pre­pared for the en­counter. We have played them we know how they play and it should also play to our ad­van­tage. “We don’t have much pres­sure, High­landers have got pres­sure rac­ing for the cham­pi­onship.

“Team work has helped us, there is al­ways a ten­dency of un­der­es­ti­mat­ing new­com­ers but we have done a lot of home­work and we are rid­ing on the wave now. FC Plat­inum spokesper­son Chido Chi­zondo said they are rel­ish­ing another clash with Harare City af­ter meet­ing in the in­au­gu­ral Chibuku Su­per Cup fi­nal in 2014 which they even­tu­ally won un­der con­tro­ver­sial mat­ters.

“The draw was fair and it would be an in­ter­est­ing en­counter con­sid­er­ing that we met Harare City in the first Chibuku Su­per Cup fi­nal, there were fire­works in that game and I am sure there would be def­i­nitely fire­works in this game. As far as we are con­cerned I would give us hun­dred per­cent and hope­fully we will come out con­quers,” said Chi­zondo.

In­ter­est­ingly, the two teams, the only teams to have won the Cup will meet in a league match at Ru­faro.

De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Harare City me­dia of­fi­cer Hope Chizuzu said they hope to con­tinue with their fine per­for­mance in the Cup game.

“We play very well in Cup com­pe­ti­tions but in league com­pe­ti­tions we are yet to re­ally strike a very good chord but be­cause it is a Cup com­pe­ti­tion, we know we have to per­form in­side 90 min­utes and we sort to have mas­tered the art of do­ing so.

“It is a good draw, if we have to be hon­est and I think all the foot­ball purists would re­ally want to come watch FC Plat­inum play Harare City, tech­ni­cally we have been drawn to play at home, and if we are play­ing at home it would be Ru­faro but they are go­ing to de­cide on the best venues with the broad­caster but even if the match is taken to Man­dava sta­dium it would still be good for Harare City we ac­tu­ally play bet­ter away than at home at the ar­ti­fi­cial sta­dium,” said Chizuzu.

Chizuzu be­lieves that the form book of these two teams will not count go­ing into this match.

“It would cer­tainly be a dif­fer­ent ball game this is a Cup com­pe­ti­tion it’s dif­fer­ent from the league where you can judge a per­for­mance from the last four games,” he said.

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