Defending champions Dynamos are hoping to restore their destructive and familiar mixture of power and panache on the pitch, often propelled by passion in the stands, in their contest for the Mbada Diamonds Cup semifinal spot with How Mine on Sunday which comes on the back of poor results in the league.
DeMbare is a club where confidence usually abounds at this stage of the season, but the Glamour Boys have lost some of it and only a compelling performance can restore it against the league debutants.
In the last two years at this stage of the season, Dynamos have been a model of clinical efficiency, but that aura of invincibility has waned and nothing can be taken for granted, not even in a home match against How Mine.
Dynamos is the only team playing the quarterfinal at home as Caps and Chicken Inn clash at a neutral venue in Gweru, while Highlanders and Buffaloes meet in Masvingo with Harare City and Hwange travelling to Beitbridge to clash at the substandard Dulibadzimu stadium.
If Dynamos lacked the lethal finisher to complement the facilitators they have in Boban Bogere and Tawanda Mparati, the second coming of Simba Sithole should be a fixer.
It would not be a surprise if Sithole walked straight into the starting line-up considering how the goals have eluded Washington Pakamisa and how despite encouraging signs, Clive Kawinga cannot be relied on.
For Caps, the hope is that the youthful promise can one day become an all-conquering force in the manner of the Green Machine of 2003-4.
But they are overdue of success such that the fans seek nothing less than instant gratification, and after their league match defeat to Shabanie Mine at the back of a home draw to Triangle last week, the Mbada Diamonds presents a more realistic chance to give their expectant fans something to smile about.
A Makepekepe squad of 20 players yesterday travelled to Gweru ahead of tomorrow’s match and will use today to acclamatise and have a feel of the match venue, Ascot stadium.
The team is focusing on this cup match as they try to put behind them the events of last week where coach Taurai Mangwiro briefly quit the club.
Captain Tapiwa Khumbuyani yesterday said the team was well prepared for Chicken Inn and will fight tooth and nail for a win.
“This is a cup match, we lost to Shabanie in a league match but we have put that behind us. We are looking to progress and we know our opponents will put in everything,” said Khumbuyani.
“But we are confident of our own abilities and we are not worried about what has happened in the past. This is a new game where we have to win to qualify. We have not suddenly become a bad side because of last week; this is a cup that we want to win.”
The Highlanders/Buffaloes clash is the second in as many weeks after their drawn league match at Sakubva stadium last week.
Despite revamping Highlanders into a force once again, Kelvin Kaindu has not won any major silverware and this is yet another opportunity to set that right.