Giants eye Chibuku glory Tonderai Mateyaunga

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

CAPS United captain Tonderai Mateyaunga says old foes Dynamos should expect a different ball game tomorrow when the giants rekindle their rivalry in the semi-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup at the National Sports Stadium.

Both teams are keen on winning the Chibuku Super Cup, which comes with a ticket to play the CAF Confederation Cup next year. The other semi-final pits Premiership log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars and Black Rhinos at Bata this afternoon.

But Makepekepe have unfinished business with DeMbare. They are desperate to turn around the script after losing twice in the two encounters between the sides in the league competition earlier this year.

The first match ended 2-0 in favour of the Glamour Boys and the most recent one was decided by a solitary strike from Nyasha Chintuli, as DeMbare rubbed more salt on Makepekepe’s already wounded season.

“Of course, we have played Dynamos twice this year and we have lost both encounters but this time it’s a different ball game,” said Mateyaunga ahead of the Chibuku Super Cup semi-final clash.

The goalkeeper is looking to reclaim his place after missing the last four league games, with his deputy Ashley Reyners doing well between the posts.

Makepekepe, despite their woes in the league competition where they have spent a greater part of the campaign in the bottom half of the table, have had a promising run in the cup tournament after reaching the semi-finals for the first time.

They beat Hwange 1-0 before edging out fellow giants Highlanders 5-3 in a shootout lottery at Barbourfields. The teams had fought out a 2-2 draw in regulation time.

“So far, we have done well in the Chibuku Super Cup and we hope when we face them (Dynamos) on Sunday we will continue with our good form.

“We are out of the race for the league title, so the Chibuku Super Cup is the only tournament that we still have a realistic chance. So, we will do our best on Sunday for our supporters and everybody who is associated with the club,” said Mateyaunga.

Interestingly, Makepekepe face their nemesis at a time they had picked up good form. They are unbeaten in the last four competitive games, which they won three and drew one.

CAPS United assistant coach Tonderai Marume believes the Green Machine are better prepared this time around.

“I understand both teams will try their level best to prepare. On our side, we have prepared well. We played on Sunday and we had enough time to rest. So, we are ready for the big game,” he said.

“The feeling is good in our camp because what we have been doing for the past three-four weeks, we had failed to do it maybe for the past 10 weeks prior. So, we are ready to meet anyone who comes in front of us.

“Of course, the league title is out of reach and the only thing that we still have under control is the Chibuku Super Cup. So we will do everything that we can to make sure we win this one because if we don’t win the Chibuku Super Cup then we have nothing else to look forward to,” said Marume.

Apart from Kelvin Madzongwe, who has been nursing injury for the past few weeks, Makepekepe have a full squad to pick their players.

The last time out, their central midfield of Madzongwe, Blessing Sarupinda and Joel Ngodzo was well outplayed by the trio of Junior Makunike, Tanaka Shandirwa and Donald Mudadi and this made a huge difference in the outlook of the match.

Makunike told journalists he was certain the dominance would continue tomorrow. The young midfielder is looking beyond the semi-finals as he dreams of playing continental football for the first time.

“I am happy (to be in the semi-finals),” he said.

“If we win this tournament, then we qualify for the CAF inter-club competition and chances will be high that we will be exposed to international scouts.

“This game doesn’t have to be decided by penalties; we want a straight win in regulation time. We have to get three consecutive wins against CAPS United,” said Makunike.

Dynamos edged Simba Bhora 1-0 in the last 16 before dispatching FC Platinum in a penalty shoot-out to reach the last four. Assistant coach Lloyd ‘Mablanyo’ Chigowe was in charge of the quarterfinal win at Mandava.

Chigowe said DeMbare would not take their opponents for granted and urged fans to come and rally behind their team tomorrow.

“Whether CAPS United are playing well or not, when Dynamos play CAPS United we have got to be tuned on. It is probably the game they play best than any other match. So, you never go to sleep in a Derby.

“The 12th man has always been critical for Dynamos… So, we call upon all our supporters to come and back the team to cross the line in this big match,” said Chigowe.

Organisers have pegged US$5 for the cheapest ticket.

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