13 November 2017

Zimbabwe: Harare City Confirm CAF Participation

Newly crowned Chibuku Super Cup kings Harare City have wasted no time in confirming their participation in the Confederation Cup next year and have vowed to do better than in their maiden appearance in the continental tourney.

The Sunshine Boys became the first team to win the prestigious knock-out competition twice since it returned on the domestic football radar in 2014 having won it before in 2015.

Harare City however, had a baptism of fire on their maiden dance with the CAF second tier inter-club competition after failing to go beyond the first round.

But club chairman Alois Masepe has vowed that his side will make a difference when they return to the competition next year.

Masepe, speaking after beating How Mine 3-1 in the 2017 final at Rufaro on Saturday, said they were eager to use the lessons they learnt last year.

On their debut appearance in the Confederation Cup, Harare City lost 5-2 on aggregate to Zambian side Zanaco in the first round.

They had negotiated their passage from the preliminary round stage after dismissing Madagascar outfit AS Adema 3-1.

Masepe said he is confident that their team got some valuable experience to make an impact when they take a second crack at the competition.

On Saturday, Philani "Beefy" Ncube's men made light work of their opponents with three second half goals in an eight-minute blitz.

City defender Edwin Madhananga found the target first before William Manondo sealed the deal with a brace.

Manondo is now the all-time top goal scorer in the Chibuku Super Cup with 11 goals.

He also scored in the first round clash against Highlanders to finish this year's edition with three goals.

In 2015, he was the Golden Boot winner with five goals.

Last year, Manondo scored two goals as the Sunshine Boys reached their third semi-final appearance while in 2014 he only contributed one goal when Harare City reached the final but lost to FC Platinum in the final.

A beaming Masepe however, believes they will be ready to tackle on some of Africa's finest when they return to the Confederation Cup next year.

"Well done to the boys, well done to the technical team, well done to the executive and board of trustees.

"Africa here we come. We are going to do better than we did last time which was our first time. This time we know all the tricks so we are going to prepare sufficiently," said Masepe.

Masepe also dismissed the notion that his team could be relegated from the Premiership, insisting that they have the pedigree to survive the chop.

"We are not facing relegation, we will survive so there is no need to worry," Masepe said.

The Sunshine Boys are however, still hovering in the drop zone and face a tricky final three matches in the league programme.

It is against this background that they put on hold their celebrations and remained in camp ahead of their mid-week fixture against Black Rhinos.

Should City fail to collect maximum points in that game, they will be left clutching on thin straws with two difficult assignments against Hwange (away) and another showdown against How Mine. Ncube said they had to put behind their Chibuku Cup victory as the games were coming thick and fast.

"First half they (How Mine) were all over us but second half we said we needed to go there and use power play, we said let's get involved with lots of possession, the transition from defence was positive and fortunately we scored.

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