PREMIERSHIP sides FC Platinum and Shabanie Mine square up Saturday in the 2013 BancABC Sup8r Cup final at Mandava in Zvishavane in an all-Midlands affair where a lot more than the winners cheque is at stake.
The winners will take home US$120,000 while the losing finalists are guaranteed aUS$50,000 cheque to help ease the pain of knowing they are not the top soccer side in this mineral-rich and football-mad province, if only for this weekend.
To get to the final, FC Platinum dispatched Highlanders and Monomotapa while Shabanie had a tougher route beating Net One Charity Shield winners Chicken Inn and defending league champions Dynamos at Barbourfields.
Platinum’s new coach Lloyd Mutasa is predicting a close match.
“It will be a close game. We have been preparing well and looking at some of the key areas of our play. We had a training session (on Friday) to round up our preparations and I can stay the amount of work we have put in makes us favourites,” he said.
He was however, worried tough that Ali Sadiki and Ray Sibanda might not be fit for the match and would have to pass late fitness tests.
But the platinum miners have a wealth of talent in their books including 2011 winner Allen Gahadzikwa who scored the winner when Motor Action beat Highlanders 1-0 at Barbourfields before the competition was discontinued last season.
In addition, Charles Sibanda – a 2010 league winner with the Mighty Bulls – is relishing a crack the winner’s medal.
“We are ready and I think we will win the match. We have been training hard for the game and there is a lot of money in it,” he said.
Sibanda, Donald Ngoma, Nelson Maziwisa and rough riding anchor-man Thabani Kamusoko will carry the hopes for Mutasa’s team.
Luke Masomere is banking on springing a surprise.
“We are ready for them and we will beat them, no doubt. The players know what is expected of them and I know they will deliver the goods. I have no fear what so ever, just wait and see,” the outspoken coach said.
He has recruited veterans Simba Gate and Norman Maroto to shore up his strike-force made up of Caleb Masocha and Valentine Ndaba.
Tafadzwa Mombeshora and goalkeeper Victor Twaliki, who saved two penalties against Dynamos, are some of the key players in the Chinda Boys machine that also boasts Pevington Zimunya upfront.Advertisement
Premier Soccer League chief executive Kennedy Ndebele said all was set for the match.
“The game will be screened live on Supersport 9 from 1430hrs. We expect fans to be at their best behaviour and accept any result from the match,” he said.
Should the match end in a stalemate after 90 minutes, half an hour o extra time will be played followed by a penalty shoot-out if the two teams cannot be separated after 120 minutes of play.