CHICKEN INN are targeting winning their second piece of silverware of the year by lifting the $130 000 Mbada Diamonds Cup. The GameCox look forward to representing the country in next year’s Caf Confederation Cup for the first time since promotion into the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League in 2011.
Winners of the country’s richest football tournament have the privilege of journeying into the African Safari and representing the country in the Confederation Cup.
Chicken Inn chairman Lifa Ncube believes the club now has the depth win the competition and ventureinto Africa.
The GameCox will battle it out with Caps United in the quarter-finals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup at Ascot Stadium in Gweru on Saturday, a tie believed to be the toughest in the tournament so far. But Ncube yesterday said they were going through to the final.
“We’re preparing for that game and are going to Africa via Mbada. We’re not reading much into Caps United parting ways with their head coach (Taurai Mangwiro).
“We’re preparing for Caps United. This might be the toughest draw, but we will be beating Caps United and we’re going through and going to win the final. We are going to Africa because we now have the depth and the capacity,” Ncube said.
Mangwiro quit the Green Machine on Sunday after losing 1-3 to Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium in Zvishavane in a league match citing the club was riddled with squabbles affecting his work.
But there were reports yesterday that he had since returned to the club. Makepekepe had remained adamant that Mangwiro is still coach and yesterday he attended a meeting with club president Twine Phiri and chief executive Joe Makuvire in a bid to resolve the crisis.
Last season Chicken Inn qualified for the Confederation Cup after ending the season on position three, but pulled out, saying they were not yet ready to venture into Africa.
Chicken Inn beat Caps United 3-2 to lift the NetOne Charity Shield at Mandava Stadium in March, and then beat them 1-0 in a league match at Luveve Stadium in May.
The two sides will clash on Saturday before meeting again in the reverse league tie during the course of next week.
Leading scorer, Tendai Ndoro who returned on loan from South African side Mpumalanga Black Aces, might return to haunt Caps United after scoring the solitary goal in May.
Ndoro played in a 1-1 draw against Harare City at Luveve Stadium on Saturday.
Chicken Inn have experienced players in Clement Matawu, the Warriors Felix Chindungwe, Danny “Deco” Phiri and the skilful Kudakwashe Mahachi.
Other experienced players are Evans Chikwaikwai, Mkhokheli Dube and Zephania Ngodzo. Canaan Nkomo is also in good form.
After becoming the first and only team to beat Chicken Inn back-to-back — 1-0 at Luveve and 2-1 in Harare in the league in the Bulawayo side’s maiden season in the league in 2011 — the Green Machine are yet to beat Chicken Inn.
Statistically, the Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu-coached Chicken Inn have the advantage over Caps United whom they beat 2-0 in Harare last year in April in a match abandoned eight minutes before the final whistle due to crowd trouble.
Chicken Inn, then coached by the late Adam Ndlovu, were awarded the game on a 3-0 score-line before the two sides drew 2-2 at Luveve Stadium in November.