Giants kept apart in Chibuku Cup draw
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.