Mighty, Power renew rivalry – as Forest Rangers hunt Buffaloes in ABSA Cup quarter finals
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
The quarter finals of the K4.4-rich ABSA Cup championship takes off this afternoon with Power Dynamos and “Mighty” Mufulira Wanders headlining the double header slated for Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
Power are the favourites going into today’s fixture which promises sparks as the two sides begin their quest to win the K700, 000 prize money for this year’s champions.
The Kitwe giants dominate the FAZ Super League with 50 points, seven points ahead of second-placed Green Buffaloes.
Facing a team from the National Division one may be an advantage for the Mwenya Chipepo-tutored Power Dynamos who will have to tread cautiously to avoid a repeat of what happened last year when the tournament was won by Napsa Stars, a team that was then representing the National Division one.
“We have prepared very well. It has been long since we participated in this tournament and we are excited. We play Mufulira Wanderers and it is not going to be an easy game but we are prepared and we are ready,” Chipepo said.
For Power captain Luka Chamanga, competing in the ABSA Cup presents the players an opportunity to do something big for their sponsors.
Chamanga said Power will not make the mistake of under-rating Wanderous just because they are coming from the national league.
For Wanderers’ coach Charles Kafula, playing the Zambian Super League leaders may prove to be a tough challenge but his lads are ready to them.
“It will not be an easy game because Power are topping the premier league and they are playing good football and going into this competition it is a different competition. We give Power the respect but on the pitch it will be different,” Kafula said.
Meanwhile, Forest Rangers will hunt for Buffaloes when the two sides face off in an early kick off of the double header at Nkoloma Stadium.
Forest Rangers assistant coach Owen Kaposa knows that it will not be a walk in the park against Buffaloes.
“Green Buffaloes is one of the biggest clubs in Zambia. We have played them in the league and the game ended in draws and in tomorrow’s game, We will approach the game differently and hoping to get a positive result at the end of the day,” Kaposa said.
Buffaloes’ captain Chilimba Monga said the Zambia Army-sponsored outfit was ready to compete as they aim to win their second ABSA Cup title after the 2015 triumph when it was called the Barclays Cup.
Last week ABSA Bank Zambia announced an increase in the sponsorship package for the 16th edition of the Absa Cup from K4 million to K4.4 million.
The champions are set to walk away with K700, 000, the runners up will get K350, 000 from K300, 000 pocketed by Red Arrows last year.
Man of the matches will be walking away with K15, 000 while the coach of the tournament, top scorer and golden gloves winner will receive K25, 000 each.