MOTOR Action begin their quest to defend the BancABC Sup8r Cup when they take on Monomotapa in a quarter-final tie at Gibbo Stadium in Chiredzi today.
Report by Sukoluhle Mthethwa.
Shabanie Mine have already booked a place in the semi-finals after beating Chicken 2-0 in the first quarter-final tie that was played at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane on Friday. FC Platinum joins them after beating Highlanders yesterday.
A double-header is lined up for today as Dynamos square up with Buffaloes in another quarter-final tie at the same venue.
Motor Action won the 2011 edition of the BancABC Sup8r Cup when they beat Highlanders 1-0 through an Allan Gahadzikwa strike at Barbourfields Stadium.
However, Motor Action lost players like Masimba Mambare, Milton Ncube, Bhekimpilo Ncube and Gahadzikwa to Highlanders and FC Platinum last year.
Motor Action coach Joey Antipas told Southern Eye Sport that they were prepared for the match.
“Cup games are all about luck, but the chances are 50/50.
We lost 2-1 to the same side on Monday in a league match, but this is a new ball game altogether,” he said.
“ It is going to be very difficult for us to defend the title because competition is going to be very stiff, but we will take each round as it comes.”
Monomotapa assistant coach Nkululeko Dhlamini said they were ready for the match.
“Basically our preparations have gone on well. Every coach would want a good result in such a game,” he said. “We have been working on our shortcomings which include failure to bury chances, as we prepare for this match.
“It is a tricky encounter, but we will fight because it is a money game. A loss will mean being knocked out,” he said.
Meanwhile, Buffaloes coach Timothy Masachi has vowed to put up a strong challenge against Dynamos.
Masachi said they fancied a repeat of the 3-2 victory that they posted against Dynamos in a league match at Sakubva Stadium a fortnight ago.
“We are hoping to progress to the next round of the competition. There is no other way for us. We want to put up the perfomance we had when we beat Dynamos 3-2 at home.
“Preparations have been going on very well for us and morale is very high in camp.
“However, we are expecting a very tough game. We have no injuries in camp.”
Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro said they were anticipating a tough battle against the Mutare side.
“Cup games are very tough to predict. It’s a 50/50 chance for both teams. When you approach a cup games like this, a team can expect to win but it is going to be a tough match. Francisco Zekumbawira and Partson Jaure are back at training,” he said.
The return of Jaure and Zekumbawira, who is still to make a mark since his move to Dynamos this season, has been a major boost to Dynamos.
However, Chihoro said Washington Pakamisa, Artwell Mukandi and Byron Madzokere are still nursing injuries.