ABSA Cup Semis Set Mouthwatering Ties
The K3.8 million rich ABSA Cup enters the semi-final stage with titanic clashes on the cards that will see six time champions Zesco United face Eden University National Division One pace setters Konkola Blades and Zanaco playing Lusaka Dynamos in a double header at Arthur Davies Stadium.
Sponsors ABSA Bank is staking K600, 000 for the winners which will raise the bar for the teams battling to make it to the finals.
In a 12:30 hours kick-off Lusaka Dynamos will cross swords with Zanaco six days after the Bankers beat Dynamos 2-1 in the MTN Super League Week 23 encounter played at Sunset stadium in Lusaka.
Elite Lusaka Dynamos will not only be seeking revenge against the Bankers but will also be looking for a debut finals appearance that will keep alive their ambitions of winning the ABSA Cup for the first time in their history.
At Friday’s pre-match press conference, Lusaka Dynamos goalkeeper coach Stephen Mwansa charged that the team was ready for Zanaco.
“We are not under any pressure because this is a different ball game altogether. We lost in the league but after that we started planning for the semi-final so our target as Lusaka Dynamos is to win the ABSA Cup so we are very eager to win,” Mwansa said.
Dynamos striker Emmanuel Chabula called on his fellow players to show character and determination if they are to reach the finals of the competition billed for Woodlands stadium in Lusaka on 24 April.
“On my side I don’t have pressure, as a team we want it (the ABSA Cup) most because it’s the only Cup competition that we are looking forward to get; we will work as a team and I think we just have to get this one,” Chabula said.
In the other semi-final, leaders of the MTN Super League and the FAZ/EDEN University National Division One, Zesco United and Konkola Blades respectively clash at 15:00hours, with both teams looking forward to break the history books.
Zesco are in search of their seventh title while Blades are aiming to reach the finals of the competition for the first time in 10 years when they lost 2-1 to Power Dynamos in 2011.
“This is a game that we expect to be tough looking at the opponent and the way they are playing; it’s a team that is on song in the EDEN University (Division One League) that is why they are on top of the log. We expect a tough game but we have done our preparations to make sure that we win the game,” Zesco coach Numba Mumamba said.
“We only hope we rise to the occasion and get the result that we want at the end of it all.”
Midfielder Bruce Musakanya, who is making a return on the pitch after missing action since February due to injury, said there was need to fight for every ball for 90 minutes in order to record a victory against Blades.
Blades coach Lewington Mujembe said while Zesco deserved the respect that they were getting, his players were no pushovers.
“It won’t be easy playing against the defending ABSA Cup champions but we are here to push and get a good result against Zesco so that we qualify to the finals,” Mujembe said.
“We are excited to play the semi-finals of the ABSA Cup and we are looking forward to the game against Zesco United, they are a good side who are playing good football this season but we are ready for the challenge,” said the soft-spoken Blades’ skipper, Kelly Muyembe.
Both matches will be live on Supersport Channel 229 Variety 4, and the man of the match award in both games will walk home with K15, 000.