Football Sport

Power aim at Buffaloes

POWER Dynamos striker Martin Phiri (right) in a tussle with Konkola Blades defender Boniface Sunzu during the Super Division Week 23 match last Sunday. PICTURE: MULWANDA LUPIYA

ROBINSON KUNDA, Lusaka
THE 2015 Barclays Cup kicks off today with mouthwatering quarter-final matches at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
In today’s matches, legendary cup fighters ‘Mighty’ Mufulira Wanderers clash against Nkwazi in a lunch-time kick-off while Power Dynamos face Green Buffaloes in another tie.
Tomorrow, Zanaco will play Division One (North) surprise leaders Lumwana Radiants while reigning champions Zesco United meet Division One (South) table- toppers Kabwe Warriors in the second match at the same venue.
POWER vs BUFFALOES (15:00 hours)
Power Dynamos will seek to maintain their pedigree in the competition when they face Green Buffaloes in what promises to be an explosive match.
The Kitwe giants have won the cup twice – 2009 and 2011.
Power defeated Buffaloes 1-0 at Woodlands Stadium in the Super Division but the ‘soldiers’ silenced the Kitwe giants with a similar score-line in the reverse tie at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
Both teams know that the Barclays Cup is their only chance of winning silverware this season after falling behind  Zesco and Zanaco in the race for the league title.
Power have 47 points, eight behind leaders Zesco and four adrift of second-placed Zanaco.
Buffaloes are perched fourth with 40 points.
“It is going to be tough but we are ready for the match. We have to work extra hard to beat them [Buffaloes] and reach the semi-finals,” Power assistant coach Anderson Phiri said.
Power have the quartet of Julius Situmbeko, Luka Lungu, Martin Phiri and defender Christopher Munthali to maintain their pedigree in the competition.
Buffaloes, 2009 losing finalists, will look for inspiration from captain Christopher Katongo, Friday Samu and Buchizya Mfune.
The soldiers have struggled to replicate their late 1970s and early 1980s dominance with their last league crown being the 1981 edition and the 2005 Mosi Cup.
WANDERERS vs NKWAZI (12:45 hours)
Both promotion teams have done relatively well in the league.
Wanderers beat Nkwazi 1-0 in a Super Division Week Two match in Lusaka and the teams battled to a 1-1 in the reverse fixture, making this afternoon’s encounter unpredictable.
Wanderers will hope Brian Ambungeni, Eric Chibuye, Fumbani Muwowo, Chisopa Malama and Jacob Ngulube can replicate the form that saw them score in last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Lusaka Dynamos.
The Manfred Chabinga-mentored outfit lost to Zesco 2-0 in the quarter-finals of last year’s edition.
On the other hand, Nkwazi coach Elijah Chikwanda will count on skipper Steward Chikandiwa, Lotti Nyimbili, Michael Bwalya and Kasongo Mwepya for victory.
Nkwazi last Saturday triumphed over Green Eagles 2-1 in a Super Division match in Choma.
Both Wanderers and Nkwazi
are yet to win the cup.
The winners of this year’s edition will pocket K300,000 and runners-up K150,000.
The coach of the tournament will walk away with K10,000 while player of the tournament will receive K5,000.

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