HARARE giants Dynamos and CAPS United will be battling for a rare opportunity to reach the Chibuku Super Cup final and possibly claim their maiden triumph in the competition when they clash in a potentially explosive tie at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.
The two sides have struggled in this competition since its return to the local football scene back in 2014 with Dynamos having last reached the final of the premier knockout tournament in 2015.
CAPS United on the other hand, have never reached the Chibuku Super Cup final in the past nine years and have already equaled their best performance in the competition this year.
However, the Green Machine are banking on a Chibuku Cup respite after struggling in the league this season where they have flirted with relegation until recent times.
A place in the knockout competition final, let alone a victory, will go a long way in sanitising a season in which the Green Machine have struggled for a second successive year.
But matches between the two teams go beyond a fight for a place in the Cup final.
It’s a battle for the city’s bragging rights and already CAPS United have lost twice ln their league matches.
Dynamos assistant coach Lloyd Chigowe feels that it is indeed a final before the final and implied that his side would play in the Chibuku Cup final.
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“For us, there are eight games to go (including two in Chibuku), and we are treating all those eight games as cup finals including the big match on Sunday (today),” Chigowe told reporters.
“We always respect our opponents especially in a derby like this. Caps United will obviously be playing for pride and their lives because losing three times on the trot to Dynamos will be a total disaster.
“Unfortunately, Dynamos want it as well so it's going to be a harbinger of a match. "Whenever we are playing a derby we have to be tuned on. "This is probably the game that they have reserved for their best more than any other, so you never go to sleep in a derby.
“We are cognisant of the fact that Caps United are hungry, so are we.”
Of interest is the fact that this fixture has provided goals in the league since 2010 and it is highly likely that goals will be scored this afternoon.
In the 2021 edition of the Chibuku Super Cup, Dynamos and CAPS United met twice in the initial round robin format and they had one-all draws in both matches although the latter failed to progress to the knockout stage.
The winner of today’s match will likely be the favourite to lift the Chibuku Cup and grab a ticket to represent the country in the Caf Confederation Cup next year.
While CAPS United are desperate to remain in the Cup competition, they have revenge for the two league matches' defeat to their arch-rivals at the back of their minds.
“We have played Dynamos twice so far this season and we lost both matches, but this is a different ball game altogether. We have done well in the Chibuku Super Cup so far. The cup is all we can win this season so on Sunday we will try and do it for our supporters and everybody who is associated with the club. We hope to win our match to get to the final,” Makepekepe captain Tonderai Mateyaunga said.
Gate charges for the epic tie have been hiked to US$5 for the rest of the ground amid disgruntlement from supporters of both teams.A