ALL they had to do was call him Mr Chibuku and, in return, he would score the goals that have brought the Chibuku Cup success to two-time champions, Harare City.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
William Manondo, who has scored a record 13 goals in the competition, is the man to watch when the Sunshine City Boys bid for another Chibuku Cup gong against a potentially explosive final against Triangle at Gibbo Stadium this afternoon.
Manondo has proven to be in a completely different class each time he features in the country’s biggest tournament and has netted at every stage of this year’s edition.
The Harare City forward is looking to complete a perfect scoring season in the Chibuku Cup today.
“I need to score more goals in the tournament and in the final, I will do something for the club. I can score again in the final. With God, all things are possible, but we need to go down there and work as a team work for each other,” Manondo said ahead of the cup final.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, but if we work as a team and work hard, hope we will come up with something.”
He has been a regular scorer in the competition since its return in 2014, helping Harare City to the title in 2015 and in 2017.
But how does Manondo just do it in this competition?
“It’s not all about me, but my teammates because they motivate me in each and every game we play in this cup,” he said.
“As a team, they call me Mr Chibuku, so it motivates me and I am happy to be called Mr Chibuku.”
Ironically, Manondo is up against his former coach Taurai Mangwiro, with whom he won the title in 2015.
“I know coach Tau is a very good coach, but his type of play is similar to Mark Harrison. If we manage our game in the first half, I think we are going to win the game,” Manondo said.
However, Harare City have to take cognisance of the fact that Triangle will be playing in their own backyard, where they have been a difficult proposition this season.
In Mangwiro, Triangle have a coach who knows how to win trophies, especially this particular one, while the team guns for its second major silverware since winning the One Wallet Cup back in 2013.
But he knows this won’t be an easy stroll in the park, as his team is facing a very good opponent.
“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,” Mangwiro said.
City coach Harrison refuses to take the favourites tag based on the history of the club in the competition and predicts a difficult encounter.
“Records mean nothing. At the end of the day, we go into the final, it’s one game, it’s 90 minutes and a little bit extra, if (at all) we go into extra time, but it’s about winning the game today. That’s our only focus, but if we do win it for the third time, great! Happy days! But it doesn’t make any difference in our approach,” he said
“They are a difficult team — make no mistake about that. They are fourth in the league and they have had a very good season. They are in the final of the cup along with us and we expect it to be a very difficult game. We beat them at home and drew with them down there in the league, but again, that means nothing because now, it’s a cup final,” he added.
Triangle have done extremely well this season and sit in fourth place, with just two matches to go in the league season. They have been driven by veteran stocky forward Lameck Nhamo, as well as former Caps United winger Phineas Bamusi, among others Harare City will be missing the services of exciting young midfielder Learnmore Muyambo through suspension.
The team that wins the Chibuku Cup final will walk away with a $75 000 cheque and a ticket to represent the country in the Caf Confederations Cup next season.