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Giants fight for Chibuku Cup

Norman Mapeza

They are two of the best teams in the country at the moment and so much is at stake when Dynamos and FC Platinum clash in a massive Chibuku Super Cup last eight match at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.

Dynamos, the hosts in this match, will be fighting for their only real chance for a trophy this season with the league title seemingly out of their grasp.

FC Platinum on the other hand should easily romp to a fourth consecutive league championship but a first league and cup double will be the icing on the cake.

Last year Norman Mapeza’s men dumped Dembare out of the Chibuku Cup with a narrow 1 – 0 win after extra-time, Innocent Mucheneka’s freekick goal making the difference.

The form books appear to favour FC Platinum who are on a 15 match unbeaten run after winning 12 of their last 15 games, including their Chibuku first round win over Tenax and getting three draws in the process.

Dembare on the other hand have not lost in the last eight matches, forking out five wins and three draws.

So far this season matches between the two rivals have failed to produce a winner let alone a goal and of note is the fact only two goals have been scored between the two teams in the last five meetings.

Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya predicted another tight match while he reckons his side is also chasing an unlikely league and Cup double.

 “It’s going to be a very tight game, but of course one which is going to have a lot of tension because of what is at stake. A place in the semi-finals is so special to the two teams and of course we haven’t thrown in the towel yet in the league. So we are all looking for a double and that brings so much excitement to the whole atmosphere and of course the match on Sunday,” Ndiraya said.

The Glamour Boys are currently eight points behind Pure Platinum Play in the race for the league title with 50 points from 27 matches in second place and are hoping for a major slip up from their rivals, seven matches before the season ends.

Ndiraya hopes that Dynamos can finally win the Chibuku Super Cup finals after struggling in the past nine years.

“To be specific, Dynamos haven’t won the Chibuku Cup since its reintroduction recently. We want to push to get into the final and once you get in the final your chances of winning the cup are so high, but before that there is a huge hurdle that we have to deal with on Sunday and that is FC Platinum.

“A cup game is played once get in the league you normally have a chance to play a return match and there has to be a winner on the day. So that’s what we have been preparing for. Hopefully that winner can be us. We have done our preparations in all that can be expected in a Cup game including penalty kicks so we are fully prepared for this match,” he said.

Interestingly Dynamos have midfielder Raphael Kawondera who won the Chibuku Cup with FC Platinum last year while forward Juan Mutudza has crossed the floor since the two teams last met in Chibuku.

Mapeza believes his side’s preparations have gone on very well ahead of the big match.

“The guys have been pushing. I think everybody in this institution knows the importance of our game against Dynamos on Sunday. It’s a massive opportunity for us to be involved in this tournament once again.

“I think what is important for us is to go there in the same mentality. Of course cup games are a bit different from league games, but I think if we can carry on with the same mentality, the same attitude, the same desire we have been putting week in week out I think we can get something out of the game on Sunday,” he said.

However, FC Platinum Stars will be missing the services of the man whose extra time goal sank Dynamos last year, Muchekeneka who is recovering from injury.

Donald Teguru and Nigel Makumbe will also not take part in the match.

Dynamos have all their stars available except for defender Munyaradzi Mawadza.

It is a pity the two team clash in the quarterfinal, but this match could have made a befitting final for the Chibuku Super Cup this season.

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