Football Sport

2014 Barclays Cup kicks off

…‘Mighty’ Zesco faceoff, Napsa take on Dynamos
By STEPHEN PHIRI
“WE are ready to face any team in the Barclays Cup. We have respect for Zesco United but we are not scared of them,” Mufulira Wanderers’ coach Manfred Chabinga said.
The 2014 Barclays Cup kicks off today with quarter-final matches.
‘Mighty’ Wanderers face Zesco United while Super Division Napsa Stars take on Division One (South) Lusaka Dynamos.
At the same venue tomorrow, Zanaco engage Konkola Blades in an early kick-off while Nkana and Power Dynamos will do battle in the other tie.
The winners will receive K250,000 while the runners-up will get K100,000.
WANDERERS v ZESCO (12:45hours)
Wanderers are record-holders when it comes to cup competitions with 40 titles.
These titles were won between 1962 and 1997.
Among the titles are nine Mosi Cup and nine BP Top Eight trophies.
In the league, Wanderers are sharing the top slot with Forest Rangers in Division One (North) with 44 points apiece.
But today, Wanderers need to raise their game because they are facing Zesco, who have won the Barclays Cup a record three times.
Wanderers, who have the second largest supporter base in the country after Nkana, will rely on Brian Ambungeni and Eric Chibuye for a semi-final berth.
But Zesco are seasonal campaigners in the Barclays Cup and will not allow Wanderers to cause an upset.
Zesco won the Barclays Cup in 2007, 2008 and 2010 and were eliminated in the semi-finals last year losing 0-1 to Nchanga Rangers.
Zesco coach George Lwandamina won the title with Red Arrows last year and is looking forward to winning it again this year.
“God willing, I want to repeat what I did at Arrows in last year’s Barclays Cup. The draw against Wanderers is fair,” said Lwandamina, a former Wanderers star.
Lwandamina will rely on Jackson Mwanza, Winstone Kalengo, Lazarous Kambole, Cletus Chota and Justin Zulu to teach Wanderers a lesson.
NAPSA v DYNAMOS (15:00hours)
Napsa Stars are favourites to cruise to the semi-finals when they clash with Lusaka Dynamos.
Napsa, the 2012 Barclays Cup holders, are enjoying top form and Dynamos should expect a tough match.
Napsa are fourth on the Super Division log with 41 points, five behind leaders Power Dynamos.
“We are back in our winning ways. The team has been transformed. We are playing well and everything is working to our advantage. This is the best chance for us to win the Barclays Cup,” said Napsa Stars coach Hector Chilombo.
But Napsa will be making a mistake if they think it will be one-way traffic against Dynamos.
Dynamos are vying for promotion to the Super Division and this speaks volumes of how strong they are.
“We will try our best. We may be in Division One but that doesn’t mean we should be underrated. We have what it takes to beat any team regardless of where they are coming from,” Dynamos coach Perry Mutapa said.
Previous winners:
2007: Zesco United
2008: Zesco United
2009: Power Dynamos
2010: Zesco United
2011: Power Dynamos
2012: Napsa Stars
2013: Red Arrows


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