Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
CHIBUKU Super Cup holders Ngezi Platinum say they want another dance with continental club football next year and they can guarantee that by defending the silverware they won in their debut season last year.
The Mhondoro-based side have a date against league champions CAPS United in the first round at Baobab on Sunday. The Chibuku Super Cup tournament explodes this Saturday with the first round matches lined up across the country.
Venues such as Rufaro, Ascot and Mandava will have a match each day during the weekend. And Ngezi Platinum, who are also in the running for the league title, have firmly set their sights on retaining the prestigious Chibuku Super Cup.
Yesterday, Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya said they were fighting for honours on both fronts — the league championship and the Chibuku Super Cup.
“The reasonable thing is to fight on both fronts, that’s what we have been preparing for this season. Our target as a team has been a top-four finish and retaining Chibuku Super Cup.
“It is a difficult one but reasonable. We want to retain it and have it for second successive year,’’ he said.
Ngezi Platinum are also banking on their good home record which has seen them going for over a year without losing a game at Baobab.
The last time Ndiraya’s troops lost a game at their fortress was on August 13 when they were beaten 0-2 by How Mine.
But CAPS United have run them close with the Mhondoro side twice needing last-gasp goals to force a share of the spoils in the league matches at Baobab.
Ndiraya believes the weekend’s match will be a tough game.
“It is not going to be easy and to make matters worse we have been drawn against CAPS United (a team that thrashed them in a league match recently at Rufaro),’’ said Ndiraya.
“We are enjoying good form, especially here at home.
“It is not going to be easy and we haven’t been doing well against CAPS United even here at home. We drew against them and lost 3-0 in Harare.
“But we have not lost at home for over a year now. So, we have all those results in mind. It is a tough match for us, especially coming from a 3-0 drubbing at Rufaro.
“However, remember after that we went on to post some good results against teams like Highlanders.’’
Ndiraya said he hopes his boys will be at their best against a tough opponent.
“Our boys will have to show a lot of spirit and resilience. This week’s focus is entirely on Chibuku. It is the ambition of everyone here, from the management up to the supporters, to play in Africa again,’’ said Ndiraya.
“Even though we played our matches in Harare we want to play in the African tournaments again.
“We hope if we work our way through then we will go back to the African competitions and so we will try to win our matches. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.’’
The coach was relieved that his top goalscorer Terrence Dzvukamanja, who missed the last match against Harare City through injury, is back in training.
He started training with the rest of his teammates on Monday.
But midfielder Walter Mukanga is yet to begin light training.
Tomorrow: Hwange v CAPS United (Colliery), Chapungu v Dynamos (Ascot).
Chibuku Super Cup: Saturday: FC Platinum v Chapungu (Mandava), Black Rhinos v Triangle (Rufaro), Chicken Inn v Yadah (Ascot).
Sunday: Dynamos v Bulawayo City (Rufaro), Ngezi Platinum v CAPS United (Baobab), How Mine v Bantu Rovers (Ascot), Highlanders v Harare City (Mandava), ZPC Kariba v Shabanie (Nyamhunga).