TRIANGLE gaffer Taurai Mangwiro does not believe that home advantage will count for anything when they clash with Harare City in the Chibuku Super Cup final at Gibbo Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI/HENRY MHARA
Harare City coach Mark Harrison earlier this week questioned the logic behind staging the cup final at the home of one of the finalists, charging that it gives their opponent an unfair advantage.
But Mangwiro does not agree. He believes that it takes more than just the venue to win this match.
Triangle qualified for the finals after beating Dynamos away in Harare in the semi-finals, while Harare City, who are the defending champions, enjoyed the home comfort in all their matches in this competition up to this stage.
“Obviously, there is pleasure of playing at home, but that also gives you a false hope of security, which we will need to overcome. Support and expectations are always high from our fans whenever we are playing at home, but that does not translate to success,” Mangwiro opined.
“We will need to be at our best to win against the defending champions. They are one of the best teams this year, so we expect a tough fight from them.”
Harrison’s fears are understandable. His side has not been good travellers this season. Of the six defeats that they recorded in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League this season, five were away from Harare. Their only home defeat was against Highlanders.
They have won 10 league matches this season and nine of them were at their home ground Rufaro Stadium. Their only victory away this season was at Maglas Stadium, where they narrowly beat relegated Shabanie Mine.
City’s last trip to Gibbo in a league match at the end of September ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Harrison’s men had won the reverse fixture 1-0 at home.
Triangle are hard to beat at home. They lost 12 times in the league this season and only five were at Gibbo.
Ten of their 16 league wins this season were at home, a record that should be giving Harrison some sleepless nights.
“We are playing at Gibbo, so they (Triangle) have the advantage already,” bemoaned Harrison.
“They have been given the chance to play at the home field, which I think is wrong. We should be playing at a neutral venue. We will probably go to that game as underdogs now seeing that they are playing at home. But we will go and see how it works.”
Triangle are sweating over the fitness of their players Praise Tonha and Anelka Chiwandire who are down injured.
The duo missed the team’s last league match away to Dynamos, but Mangwiro is keeping his fingers crossed.
The victor of what should be an exciting contest between the two good teams, will win a $75 000 cheque and a ticket to represent the country in the Caf Confederations Cup.