AN explosive Chibuku Super Cup double header is set for Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon, with the remaining four teams in the prestigious Cup competition desperate to book their spots in the final.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The first semifinal encounter pitting local authority sides Bulawayo City and Harare City will get the ball rolling before the second clash featuring miners How Mine and Shabanie Mine.
Harare City appear to have the upper hand in the first match, having won the Chibuku Super Cup in 2015 after beating Dynamos under coach Taurai Mangwiro.
However, a lot has changed in the Sunshine City Boys’ camp as they have had a number of coaches in their fold after parting ways with Mangwiro with the legendary Moses Chunga also being part of the system.
Mkhuphali Masuku and Mike Madzivanyika also had their time at Harare City, a team that had an indifferent season this year before bringing in Philani “Beefy” Ncube to save the side from relegation in the top league.
Ncube’s side had a mediocre performance against Chicken Inn in a league match on Thursday at Luveve, probably bracing for Bulawayo City in the Chibuku semi-final today.
They stayed in the City of Kings after the Chicken Inn game, in which Jimmy Tigere, Pritchard Mpelele, Peace Tshuma, Learnmore Muyambo and Kelvin Shangiwa sat on the bench with the likes of Martin Vengesai, Tendai Samanja and William Manondo starting.
Bulawayo City appear to be the in-form side after beating How Mine on Wednesday in a league match but are cautious against Harare City, a side they have collected four points from in the league this year.
Coach Mandla Mpofu says Harare City will obviously be on a revenge mission.
“We are playing one of the toughest teams in the league. We have played them twice this year, got a point in Harare and beat them at home. It is not going to be easy beating them again. It is obvious they want revenge. Our approach will be cautious, although it is a final before the final for us,” Mpofu said.
The duo of Ishmael Wadi and Morris Kadzola will miss the semi-final as they sit on two yellow cards each from the first round win against Dynamos and the quarter-final victory over Yadah.
In the second game How Mine, the only side safe from relegation and still part of the Cup tournament, will be wary of Shabanie Mine who have bundled ZPC Kariba and CAPS United out of the competition.
Praise Tonha and Stephen Nyambabvu will have to pass a late fitness test while seniors Kuda Musharu, Milton Ncube, Makundika Sakala, Peter Moyo and Toto Banda could bounce back to the starting line-up after sitting on the bench against Bulawayo City on Wednesday.
Shabanie Mine technical manager Taku Shariwa said they have a lot of respect for How Mine but they have not lost a match at Barbourfields Stadium this year.
“How Mine are one of the best teams in terms of technical and tactical awareness. They are a very good side, but we will give it a fight. We have not lost at Barbourfields this year and we know we can conjure up something,” he said.
Farai Mupasiri is the man to watch at Shabanie Mine.