The inaugural Southern Region Division One League Liquor Hub Wholesale John Landa Top 8 Tournament kicks-off Saturday, with Technosphere taking on ZPC Hwange in the coalmining town.
The Super 8 tournament, which is named after the late Vice President John Landa Nkomo, is sponsored by businessman Raj Modi to the tune of $5 000 and is for teams that were in the top eight in the first half of the season.
The winners of the tourney will walk away with $1 500 and losing finalists $800. Losing semi-finalists are guaranteed $400 each, while teams that fail to make it past the quarter-final stage will get $200.
The remainder of the sponsorship package will be used by the Zifa Southern Region to pay match officials, the police and for stadia.
Gate charges for all games have been set at $1.
The winner between Technosphere and ZPC Hwange will face either Amagagasi or Victoria Falls Tigers in the semi-finals.
Amagagasi and Tigers play their quarter-final game on Sunday in Victoria Falls.
A double header is on the cards in the other quarter-finals to be played in Bulawayo on Sunday at White City Stadium.
Police sides Black Boots and ZRP Bulawayo will clash in the first match followed by the Bantu Rovers and Bulawayo Chiefs’ encounter.
The Rovers-Chiefs clash has been dubbed “the final before the final” and the encounter is a potential thriller.
Rovers are at the top of the Southern Region League and have set their sights on winning the first silverware at the expense of Chiefs.
Johannes Ngodzo, the Rovers’ coach, said they’re ready for Chiefs.
“It’s going to be a good game and we’re looking forward to the game. Usually cup games are tricky than league matches and the approach is different. Chiefs are a good side and whenever you play a good side, players tend to raise their game and I’m confident that my boys will do well and progress to the next stage,” said Ngodzo.
Rovers’ seasoned players Zephaniah Ngodzo and Lindelani Vice Ncube, who are nursing minor knocks, will have to pass late fitness tests.
Chiefs, who played to a 1-1 draw against Hwange Juniors at the Colliery Stadium on Wednesday, will have to work on their finishing if they’re to beat Rovers. Chiefs were all over Hwange Juniors, but failed to turn their dominance into goals.
Rovers should be on the lookout for Chiefs’ striker Adrian Banana, who is on loan from Chicken Inn, Farau Matare, Joseph Mutambiranwa and Kundishora Chakanyuka.
“The boys are looking forward to the game and the team that will be hungrier will win. We just have to stick to our game plan and hope to proceed to the next stage,” said Chiefs’ coach Thulani Sibanda.