By Wellington Toni
HARARE City enter the lion’s den at Gibbo Stadium in the Lowveld today
when they take on Triangle in the final of the 2018 Chibuku
Super Cup final, aiming to successfully defend their title.
If they, Harare City, win, it will be the third time they would have
emerged as victors in the country’s premier football knockout
competition having won the trophy in 2015 and 2017.
On the other hand, Triangle, after dispatching Dynamos in the
semi-finals, are looking for their first Chibuku sip and have not
hidden their desire to represent Zimbabwe in the Caf Confederation
Cup in 2018/2019.
Winners will walk away with $75 000 and a ticket to the Caf
Confederation Cup and runners up $50 000.
Harare City coach Mark Harrison has attempted to take off the pressure
from his charges, urging them to focus on a win rather than records.
“Records mean nothing, just the desire to win. We have to prepare for
penalties, this is a cup game, that’s the way it is. We want to win
the game in normal time but if it goes to extra time and penalties
then we have to be prepared,” the coach is quoted saying in the club’s
official Facebook account.
He is also not worried that Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro, a former
City gaffer, might have inside knowledge of his charges.
“He knows all our players and we also know all his players, every
coach knows all the players in Zimbabwe. I am sure the way we play now
is quite different from the way he played when he was at Harare City.
“But we expect a very difficult game against Triangle. They are a
difficult team, fourth in the league, very difficult game, no mistake
about that. We beat them (Triangle) here in Harare and drew at their
home in the league but this is a cup game, it is going to be
difficult,” said Harrison.
Harrison though was not happy about the final being played at Gibbo,
saying this hands Triangle some advantage.
“They know the venue inside out which is to their advantage but not
only that, it’s also the logistics around the preparations for the
match. There is no accommodation for us there which means we have to
camp in Masvingo and travel on the day of the match which is about two
hours’ drive. There are also no training facilities in Triangle which
ruins our preparations and it’s a very difficult situation for us. I
don’t think that was taken into consideration at all,” said Harrison.
Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro, however says there is no such thing as
home advantage. Harare City, in case they forgot, played all their
matches from the first round in the capital.
“Obviously, there is pleasure of playing at home, but that also gives
you a false hope of security, which we will need to overcome. Support
and expectations are always high from our fans whenever we are playing
at home, but that does not translate to success.
“We will need to be at our best to win against the defending
champions. They are one of the best teams this year, so we expect a
tough fight from them.”