Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ARE the Premiership’s Big Three – Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United – cursed when it comes to the Chibuku Super Cup?
This tournament has never been a happy playing ground for the traditional giants since it was relaunched in 2014 and won by FC Platinum, with Harare City and newboys Ngezi Platinum Stars also laying their hands on it.
The best the Big Three have come was when Dynamos finished as finalists in 2015 but they were knocked out in the first round by Black Rhinos in 2014 and again by How Mine last year.
Highlanders reached the semi-finals twice, including last year, but they had bowed out at the first round in 2015 after losing to How Mine in a penalty shootout.
CAPS United were eliminated at the first round of the last two editions.
Ngezi Platinum are the current holders.
FC Platinum have featured in two of the three finals while 2015 winners Harare City have reached at least the last four in every edition and twice reaching the final.
However, the giants yesterday vowed they will be out to break the jinx in their latest adventure which begins tomorrow when CAPS United travel to Baobab to face Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Dynamos will be at their Rufaro home ground against Bulawayo City while Highlanders date bogey side Harare City at Mandava.
“If I remember well, the last time we played Bulawayo City it was a high-scoring match,’’ said DeMbare coach Lloyd Mutasa.
‘‘We won it but the scoreline showed that both teams have the arsenal to score goals. Cup games are won by scoring goals, there are no two ways about it. So we aim to be on point.
“But it’s obvious we have become the team to beat after climbing to the top of the table.
“In fact that has always been the case with Dynamos – every match that we play always trigger the best out of our opponents because everyone wants to brag about beating Dynamos.
“The Chibuku Super Cup is just another journey that we are embarking on. It has it’s own challenges but, as we begin, our destination is reaching the final. We have to be there and win it.’’
His captain Ocean Mushure concurred.
“The road to the final looks so easy on paper. It’s just three games and you are in there. But those three games are something else.
‘‘Cup games are very tricky in that if you mess up once you may get punished for that one silly incident.
“So we have to concentrate and try to minimise errors. It’s unfortunate we haven’t been able to win the Chibuku Cup but this year we have to fight harder. I think we have a very good team,” said Mushure.
Highlanders coach Erol Akbay was also upbeat ahead of the clash with the Sunshine Boys at Mandava tomorrow.
“We are working hard on our finishing, which has been one of our weakness in the past few weeks. I’m sure you will be able to see something different in our next game.
‘‘It’s because you have to score goals to make it in tournaments.
“But cup competitions are always tricky. For example in this one you have to play four games and win all of them to be crowned champions. But then sometimes it is difficult to maintain the concentration levels up to the end.
“For the big teams like us, Dynamos and CAPS United, the issue is always about winning the league title and that’s where we somehow miss it.”
FC Platinum v Chapungu (Mandava), Black Rhinos v Triangle United (Rufaro), Chicken Inn v Yadah (Ascot)
Dynamos v Bulawayo City (Rufaro), Ngezi Platinum v CAPS United (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Shabanie Mine (Nyamhunga), How Mine v Bantu Rovers (Ascot), Highlanders v Harare City (Mandava)