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Zimbabwe Soccer Champions Chicken Inn in Tricky CAF Tie

  • Michael Kariati

Mamelodi Sundowns are already in Zimbabwe for the CAF African Champions League match.

Mamelodi Sundowns are already in Zimbabwe for the CAF African Champions League match.

Zimbabwe football fans are in for a treat as Pan African football roars into life with a double weekend feast for Zimbabwe.

Barbourfields Stadium will Saturday be dancing to the tunes of the Caf Champions League while across the country at Rufaro Stadium, fans will be singing the song of the Caf Confederation Cup.

That is the status quo as Zimbabwe champions Chicken Inn host glamorous South African side Mamelodi Sundowns while Harare City have a date with a not so popular AS Adema from Madagascar in the Caf Confederation Cup.

Sundowns have struck a rich vein of form and are coming to Zimbabwe top of the Absa Premiership and also having beaten bitter rivals Kaiser Chiefs 2-1 but the Gamecocks coach Joey Antipas is not reading into that.

Antipas, whose team has had a 10-day training stint in Zambia, is straight to the point that they are not going to give the cash-rich South Africans too much respect.

Captain Danny Phiri admits that the so-called Brazilians are a good side with high class performers but says Chicken Inn will take them head on.

Gamecocks fan Levison Ndudzo believes if the Zimbabweans are able to minimize Khama Billiart’s influence in this game then they will be home and dry.

Dynamos supporter, Andrew Rwodzi, whose team were humiliated 3-0 by the Gamecocks at home last season, has so much faith in Chicken Inn’s ability and says the Bulawayo side will conquer.

Rwodzi has called on all Zimbabwean to be at Barborufields Stadium to cheer the champions all the way to victory.

Chicken Inn strengthened their squad during the season and acquired the services of Teenage Hadebe, and Obediah Tarumbwa from Highlanders, former Flame Lily star Moses Demera as well as Physiwell Madhazi from Dongo Sawmills.

Add those to Edmore Chirambadare, Michelle Katsvairo, Clement Matawu, Elvis Chipezeze, then you have an outfit that should prove a tough nut to crack for the Brazilians.

Across the country at Rufaro Stadium, Harare City should not have much of a problem of dislodging of little AS Adema.

The team from Madagascar has no history to talk about in African football with the best they have done being second round elimination from the 2013 Caf Champions League in 2013.

Harare City have made strides in strengthening their side acquiring the likes of star midfielder Ronald Chitiyo and Blessing Moyo from Dynamos as well as Raphael Manuvire from ZPC Kariba and Edwin Madhananga from Flame Lilly.

Ndudzo thinks the Harare City fathers have too much ammunition for AS Adema.

Now to cricket: It was a bad ending for Zimbabwe at the ICC Under 19 World Cup after the Young Chevrons were this afternoon beaten by five wickets by Afghanistan to lose the Plate final at the Bazar Ground.

The star of the show for Zimbabwe was William Mashinge who hit 69 runs with Adam Keefe weighing in with 39 runs as Zimbabwe posted a total of 216 from their allotted 50 overs.

However, that was not enough as in response Afghanistan’s Tariq Stankkzai plundered 106 runs for a total of 218 with five wickets still in the bag.

With that, Zimbabwe were down and out. However, the youngsters are returning home with their heads held high after putting up some brilliant performances.