Friday, November 25, 2011

(HERALD) Mbada Diamond fever rises

Mbada Diamond fever rises
Thursday, 24 November 2011 00:00
Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter

THE Mbada Diamonds Cup final craze is fast gripping the domestic football family as the showdown between Premiership champions Dynamos and city rivals Motor Action set for the National Sports Stadium on Sunday edges closer. DeMbare and the Mighty Bulls meet for the third time this season and for the first time in a cup game.

Both sides have made it clear that they would want to become the inaugural winners for the country's flagship knockout tournament. But veteran Motor Action defender Salim Milanzi has backed the Mighty Bulls to win and claim their second piece of silverware this year.

Milanzi said victory for Motor Action would ensure they finish the season on high after they failed to defend their Premiership title and could only settle for third place.
The former Motor Action captain, who missed most of the 2011 campaign due to injury, yesterday said the Mighty Bulls needed to salvage their pride after surrendering the title to Dynamos.


* Dog-eat-dog in Mbada final

Motor Action finished the season third in the league race behind Dynamos and FC Platinum but they have had a good campaign in the Mbada Diamonds Cup where they beat Monomotapa, Blue Ribbon and Zimbabwe Saints to reach the final of this US$1m tournament.
Milanzi said the Mighty Bulls would want to get some form of satisfaction by beating the new league champions to the most lucrative cup title in the domestic game.
"It was disappointing that we couldn't defend our Premiership title. It appeared we were on the right track but then we reached a time when we lost a lot of points while

Dynamos were gaining ground.
"We then picked up late and by the time we came back into it we had already lost ground.
"However, it's now water under the bridge and I think we have a perfect opportunity on Sunday to redeem something. That's the only way we can stop the pain," said Milanzi.

The Mighty Bulls, who experienced a dip in form stretching nearly two months now seem to have rediscovered their touch, to finish the season strongly with victories over Gunners and Black Mambas.
Ironically Motor Action last tasted defeat two weeks ago when they lost 2-0 to Dynamos in a league game at Rufaro. They had beaten the Glamour Boys by the same scoreline in the first leg.

The former Hwange striker challenged his teammates to raise their game on Sunday as they need to add more silverware to the BancABC Sup8r Cup they won during the season.
Motor Action coach Joey Antipas has a full squad at his disposal and indicated early this week that there are no injury worries in his dressing room.

"The chances are 50-50. I think DeMbare have been playing well of late. They are still buoyant after winning the league title and that would need us to be at our best.
"It promises to be a tight game on Sunday because both teams are in good form. We have been preparing for this challenge for a while now. Once it became clear that we were no longer in the running for the championship, we then switched our attention to the cup competition and there is no way anyone at Motor Action would want to miss this chance," said Milanzi.

Milanzi, who battled injury last season, had returned to the pitch at the beginning of the season but again fractured his arm early in the year.
He was among the Motor Action and Dynamos players who joined hands with Mbada Diamonds yesterday to bring an early Christmas cheer to the handicapped children at Isheanesu Home for the Disabled in Glenview.

The diamond miners donated a bulky assortment of goods that included five tonnes of mealie-meal, two tonnes of rice, 1 000 litres cooking oil, 400kg beans, 400kg kapenta, 400kg soya chunks, 400kg salt and 300bags of blankets.

Mbada Diamonds executive George Manyaya said the gesture was part of the company's corporate social responsibility activities.
"We are harnessing diamonds for the people and we believe that every Zimbabwean should benefit from the proceeds, including the disadvantaged sections of the society.

"Christmas is a time for giving and sharing and we thought that the children at this centre should celebrate with their football heroes who are playing in the Mbada Diamonds final this week.

"This is only the beginning and we hope to move places doing the same in the near future," Manyaya said.
Manyaya said the logistics for Sunday's final had now been pout in place with the sponsors and the Premier Soccer League excpective a festive day at the giant stadium.

According to the PSL, advance tickets for the rest of the ground will cost US$2 and the same ticket would be charged US$3 on the match day. Bay 17 and 18 have been demarcated for the VIP and one seat will cost US$20.

The winners will walk away with US$75 000 while the runners-up are set to pocket US$50 000.
"There will be lots of entertainment including a two-hour slot for Alec Macheso before the game. The game featuring local journalists will be played in the morning then we will have schools soccer pitting St. John's from Borrowdale and Chirodzo Primary School of Mbare. Later in the day we will have a surprise curtain raiser which we hope many people will like," said Manyaya.



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