HARARE – No sooner had the draw for the semi-finals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup been made than pundits and fans alike began talking of the “dream final” between giants Highlanders and CAPS united.
Sure enough, the two giants of Zimbabwean football were kept part in the last four draw held in the capital yesterday, leaving an eagerly anticipated summit meeting between the two strong possibility.
CAPS United will virtually be at home in the semis against How Mine as the two have been drawn to play at a Harare venue yet to be confirmed.
Highlanders face Harare City in the other semi-final in Zvishavane.
The matches will be played on the weekend of November 9 and 10.
Whilst football followers will be putting their money on a CAPS-Highlanders final, neutrals who love a fairy tale story will hope the unheralded Harare City and giant killers How Mine make go all the way.
Whatever the outcome, Zimbabwe should brace themselves for explosive last four matches of what has so far been an intriguing knock-out tournament.
Both How Mine and Bosso spoke with one voice of their desire to set up an all Bulawayo final and give the football lovers of the southern region something to cheer about.
“If Highlanders go through it will be an exciting final for the people of Bulawayo,” How Mine chairman Mlondolozi Nkomo said after the draw.
“We are just going to give our best. We are not intimidated that we will be playing in Harare again. After all, it’s in Harare where we have picked up most of our league points and it was in Harare where we beat defending champions Dynamos. So it looks like giants love us and Harare loves us.”
Highlanders executive Mgcini Mpofu, whose team thumped Buffaloes 3-0 to storm into the semi-finals, said he breathed a sigh of relief after being paired with Harare City instead of Chikurupati who have beaten them twice this season.
“We were hoping for Harare City and we are obviously hoping it will be an all Bulawayo final,” Mpofu said.
City, who have failed to collect a win in their last Castle Premiership matches but have been on song in the Mbada Diamonds Cup, said Highlanders should underrate them at their own peril.
“All teams that are here deserve to be where they are and you can’t count anyone out,” Harare City chairman Lesli Gwindi said.
CAPS United, whose path has been a bumpy ride, are upbeat of going all the way and lifting their first their first major trophy since 2005.
United scrapped through the first round after edging Motor Action 7-6 in a pulsating penalty shoot-out before beating Chicken Inn 2-1 in the quarter finals.
“We are happy to be where we at this stage of the season,” said assistant coach Brenna Msiska, whose team is also still in with a chance of winning the league title.