Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter—
YET another potentially explosive derby showdown is on the cards when CAPS United clash against bitter rivals Dynamos in a ZNA Charities semi-final tie at Rufaro on Sunday. The two Premiership giants, whose clashes come with bragging rights for the capital, have already met in the Sino-Zimbabwe Challenge Cup, the Bob 91 Super Cup and will now lock horns in a match aimed at raising funds for charitable organisations that are sponsored by the Zimbabwe National Army.
Four teams will take part again this year with Highlanders relishing a date against giant-killers How Mine who replaced defending champions FC Platinum.
DeMbare and Makepekepe are also set to meet in the fourth week of the 2015 Castle Lager Premiership marathon.
But for now they have to contend with seeking to outdo each other in the pre-season tournaments and as it stands, both sides are even with CAPS United having claimed the honours in the Sino-Zimbabwe Challenge Cup while a Ronald Chitiyo wonder strike ensured Dynamos retained the Bob Super Cup.
CAPS United assistant coach Brenna Msiska said yesterday there is nothing like a friendly match whenever they face DeMbare.
The Harare giants meet for the third time inside a month at Rufaro after they were picked in a repeat of last year’s draw in the same competition.
The platinum miners were not able to participate in this year’s edition of the invitational tournament since they have a busy schedule in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Makepekepe goalkeepers’ coach Msiska said his side is looking to turn the tables following their 1-0 defeat in the Bob 91 Super Cup. The sides also met last month in the Sino-Zim Cement Cup which the Green Machine won 6-5 following a penalty shootout.
“It’s good we are going to play Dynamos again. Those games are now behind us and this is now a new game. But what we know is that when we play Dynamos there’s nothing as friendly.
“It’s not a revenge match as such. We are just going to play our normal game, but it’s just that there is no friendly game (against Dynamos) whether we play Under 20s or 40-year-olds,” said Msiska.
Last year CAPS United beat Dynamos 1-0 in the semi-finals of the ZNA Charities at the National Sports Stadium courtesy of Dominic Mukandi’s first half strike.
But they had a terrible outing in the final after slumping to a 6-0 thumping at the hands of FC Platinum at Mandava.
Msiska nonetheless believes the new game will present a different challenge while calling on the supporters to come out in numbers.
The organisers pegged the minimum gate charges at $3.
Dynamos coach David Mandigora said they had not expected to play CAPS United again so soon, but because of the charity cause of this tournament, the veteran gaffer indicated that the Glamour Boys would be in full force on Sunday.
Mandigora also hinted that DeMbare would field a strong squad and that some players who have not yet had a chance to play in the last two derbies could be given a run in during the ZNA Charities semi-final.
“We have been taken by surprise. We thought we were going to meet some other team which is not CAPS United.
“This will be our third game playing the same opponent.
“But since it’s for charity, we are going to play and I think we are going to give it our best and as usual CAPS United are our rivals and we will play for our supporters on Sunday.
“Since it’s still a preparatory match we might mix few youngsters because they also need to get game time, but most of the guys who played last week will also be playing. We will prepare as usual to get a good result,” said Mandigora.
The organisers have set aside $25 000 for prize money. Winners of this year’s tournament will receive $12 000 while the runners up get $8 000. The final will be played during mid-season due to a congested programme.
The director of ZNA Public Relations Alphios Makotore said the prizes were more of a token of appreciation since the major purpose of the tournament is to raise funds for the army charities. Makotore also said the prizes could be increased if they manage to secure more sponsorship.
“It’s not an open and shut thing because as we are speaking right now we are getting pledges from some companies and people who want to be associated with charities.
“So we are starting from that figure ($25 000) and any time sponsors can come on board and we are most likely to see the figure going up. It has happened in the past and we think it can happen again,” said Makotore.
The Commander ZNA Charities fundraising activities began in 1997 with the Charity Race, but have now branched into soccer, dinner dances and golf.
Proceeds from the matches will go to five charities — the ZNA Schools Welfare Trust Fund which caters for various schools under the army, ZNA Patients Welfare Fund which provides assistance and welfare to members admitted in hospitals, Tsanga Lodge Convalescent Centre in Nyanga, ZNA Benevolent Fund and the ZNA Widows and Orphans Fund.