The Sunday Mail
AFTER surrendering control of their Chibuku Super Cup destiny, CAPS United’s hopes of a quarter-final berth could be dashed in a fixture they are not even involved in.
Makepekepe’s quarter-final fate could be sealed if Harare City win against ZPC Kariba in a re-arranged Group One fixture at Baobab in Mhondoro this afternoon.
A poor run that has seen them win once in eight outings means CAPS United are now pinning their hopes on ZPC Kariba derailing Harare City’s quarter-final march, at least for now.
With 12 points on board, Chibuku Super Cup specialists Harare City will book their place in the last eight as Group One runners up if they beat ZPC Kariba, a result that will leave the Sunshine Boys seven points clear of CAPS United, going into the last two rounds of action in the pool.
CAPS United’s on fire city rivals Dynamos have already secured the other spot after their unbeaten run took their tally to a table-topping 20 points.
The Sunshine Boys are, however, not focusing on the troubles that have hit CAPS.
Harare City skipper, Marshal Machazane, is not taking away anything from ZPC Kariba but the veteran defender is confident his troops will complete the job at Baobab this afternoon.
Despite some turbulence in their camp over outstanding bonuses and salaries, City have found their way back after winning their last two assignments.
“In football there is no shortcut, so the secret to winning is hard work. We have been doing everything that we have been asked to do, that’s why we have managed to win these two games.
“The game against ZPC Kariba is like any other game, we will treat it like any other. We will respect them but we have to win this game so that we enhance our chances of making it into the quarter finals.
“The approach is always the same, we always play to win, we work hard. If we have to put 120 percent effort let’s do it.
“Competition in Group One has been stiff. It’s never easy playing teams from Harare, we all know each other well. At the end of the day it’s about who wants it more.
“We can’t afford to be complacent, we just have to be humble and focus on the game, do everything that we’re asked to do,” Machazane said.
The Group One winner will face the runners-up from Group Three where Cranborne Bullets have already booked their place.
Nesbert “Yabo” Saruchera’s Bullets lead Group Three with nine points, two ahead of Black Rhinos, while Manica Diamonds and Tenax have five each.
The winner of Group Three is yet to be decided but unbeaten Cranborne Bullets cannot afford to lose their last game against Tenax.
But Black Rhinos have to win or draw against Manica Diamonds if they are to make it into the last eight.
Winners of Group Three will face runners up in Group One, who in this case might now be Harare City, as they just need three points from their remaining three matches.
“Our performances have been good, our target was to advance to the quarter-finals and we are happy as the Cranborne family,” Bullets coach, Saruchera said.
Chicken Inn and Highlanders have also qualified from Group Two but the pool winners are yet to be decided.
The Gamecocks, who lead the group with nine points, will play bottom placed Bulawayo Chiefs in the last round while Bosso, with seven points, will date Bulawayo City.
Winners from Group Two will face the runners up in Group Four from which log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars and FC Platinum have already progressed.
The runners up from Group Two will play the winners in Group Four.
Ngezi lead Group Four with 13 points, three ahead of FC Platinum, before their highly anticipated showdown to determine who wins the group. According to the Premier Soccer League, the quarter-finals are set for October 23, a week before the Premiership championship race begins.
There will be a draw for the semi-finals, but basing on current form, it is pointing to a Dynamos versus Ngezi Platinum in the final, if the two are separated along the way.
Group One Log standings
P W D L F A Pts
Dynamos 8 6 2 0 11 1 20
Harare City 7 3 3 1 8 5 12
CAPS United 8 1 5 2 8 9 8
Yadah Stars 8 2 2 4 7 12 8
ZPC Kariba 7 1 4 2 2 4 7
Herentals 8 0 4 4 3 8 4