FOOTBALL lovers take a break from the intriguing finale of the premier soccer league this weekend to focus on the CBZ FA Cup tournament where the winner wil
l represent the country in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) championships.
Log-leaders, Dynamos and second placed Highlanders will be seeking to avoid exits in the semi-finals of the tournament when they date Lengthens and Caps United at Gwanzura and Barbourfields Stadium respectively as they are aiming for the league and cup double.
Mwana Africa were the inaugural winners of the tournament last year and made an impressive debut in the continental safari.
Dynamos will hope last week’s disappointment — where their winning streak was brought to a halt after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Eastern Lions — does not repeat itself as they aim for the league and cup double — the first in a decade.
But Dynamos who will be boosted by the return from suspension of Murape Murape date Lengthens who have high hopes to make history for themselves by going all the way to the final and represent the country on the continent.
It promises to be an interesting match as Lengthens who have what it takes to pull a major upset, have been impressive in the premiership where they are placed seventh on the 20-team log after posting eight wins and six draws in 23 matches. Again this weekend, Dynamos will hope boardroom squabbles — that have seen them lose their director of coaching, Sunday Chidzambwa — will not spill onto the field of play on Sunday.
In another semi-final match, Highlanders and CAPS United meet at Barbourfields tomorrow in what is expected to be an explosive match following the chaos that accompanied the last match.
The match pits two teams that have had two games abandoned in the last three years due to crowd trouble. In 2004, with the game tied at 3-3 at BF, the match was called off with 60 minutes of play remaining, again, due to crowd trouble.
On August 11, Highlanders and Caps United were involved in a highly contentious second round match of the CBZ Premiership, which ended four minutes before full time due to crowd trouble after the Harare side’s fans threw missiles onto the pitch to prevent the hosts from taking a penalty when the match was tied 1-1.
What makes tomorrow’s match even more interesting is the fact that Caps United — the 2004 and 2005 league champions — who were fined $250 million for their fans’ behaviour, have appealed against the decision.
The two teams come into the match with contrasting fortunes.
Caps United are sliding down the premiership log due to poor performances while Highlanders have closed the gap that separates them with the log leaders Dynamos.