Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau
GIANTS Highlanders have vowed to end hosts Harare City’s domination in the Chibuku Super Cup after the familiar foes set up a potentially exciting quarter-final duel following a draw conducted in Harare yesterday.
The Sunshine Boys and Highlanders clash at Rufaro on Saturday for the third time in the competition since it was re-launched a few years back.
The other quarter-final matches will pit Chapungu and Caps United at Ascot on Saturday while Dynamos were drawn to face newboys Herentals at Rufaro on Sunday.
Triangle and Nichrut’s clash at Gibbo will complete the last eight clashes on Sunday.
Harare City, who pride themselves as the most successful team in the modern era of the tournament, have not made it a secret they want to maintain their dominance in the competition after winning two of the last four editions.
Mark Harrison’s men will fancy themselves playing Bosso for the third time. The Sunshine Boys have been successful against the Bulawayo giants who they thrashed 3-0 in the semi-final of the 2014 edition.
They were also responsible for Bosso’s first round exit last season with a 2-1 win at Rufaro that came via goals from William Manondo and Grey Kufandada.
Manondo is still around at Harare City while Kufandanda moved into Division One where he is playing for Karoi United.
However, Highlanders vice-chairman Modern Ngwenya yesterday said Bosso are looking to get their act together in the upcoming clash.
Ngwenya said their project spearheaded by coach Madinda Ndlovu has been progressing well and they are keen to be rewarded with silverware.
“Highlanders was born in 1926 and is the oldest team in the country and for that reason we cannot be intimidated by any team.
“But all I can say is that we respect all teams because there are no small teams anymore in modern Premiership.
“Look at FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum, they were eliminated by the so-called small teams. So we respect all teams including Harare City, more so because of the fact that they are the defending champions.
“But we don’t want to talk the walk but to walk the talk. We will display good football and hopefully we will progress to the next round.
“We are happy so far with how our project has been progressing. We are not worried about the league championship this year.
“We are more worried about making sure that we re-energise our brand, we rejuvenate and revive it. This is a perfect opportunity for our ECD to display what they have learnt from their tutor Madinda Ndlovu,” said Ngwenya.
The Sunshine Boys got the privilege to host the match again after they came out of the hat first during the draw.
Unlike the first round when the teams were seeded according to last year’s rankings, the first four sides out of the pot by a drawing of lots yesterday were “technically” deemed the home teams.
Giants Caps United will be away at Ascot and the club’s chief executive Cuthbert Chitima told reporters at the draw yesterday that his team is looking to go beyond the last eight for the first time.
“Cup games are always tricky. The best team of the day will carry the day. So I am hoping it’s going to be an exciting match and we are hoping to excel and get to the final.
“Otherwise we are not worried about playing away. Even if we play in Gweru, Mandava or Mutare, we are home as long as it is in Zimbabwe.
“So for me I don’t think it will be a big factor for us although we would have preferred National Sports Stadium which we are used to.
“To be very honest, the Chibuku trophy is something that we would want on our shelves. The target is to win it. We don’t want to be finalists, we want to win the Chibuku Trophy,” said Chitima.
Struggling giants Dynamos are looking to atone for their misery in the championship race by excelling in the Chibuku Cup with Herentals the next hurdle they have to clear after dispatching Bulawayo Chiefs in the first round.
But the students’ representative at the draw Tariro Benza said the Glamour Boys should brace for a good run for their money.
“I am happy with the draw. It was going to happen that we were going to face the so-called giants but this will be a cup game and we look forward to progress.
“They have a big name but we are playing in the same league so we will not be afraid of the game. The boys have since gained both experience and confidence ever since we joined the top-flight.
“Our aim is to do our best and progress to the next round come weekend we will be more than ready for Dynamos,” said Benza.
Chibuku Quarterfinal draw:
Saturday: Harare City v Highlanders (Rufaro), Chapungu v Caps United (Ascot)
Sunday: Dynamos v Herentals (Rufaro), Triangle v Nichrut (Gibbo)