Barclays Cup race hots up

THE chase for the 2015 Barclays Cup title kicks off today with tricky quarter-final fixtures between Nkwazi and ‘Mighty’ Mufulira Wanderers and Power against Green Buffaloes at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium.

With K300,000 top prize at stake, Mufulira Wanderers is determined to overcome Nkwazi to reach the semi-finals.

Mufulira Wanderers were last year booted out of the Barclays Cup race by Zesco following a 2-0 defeat in the quarter-finals.

In the Super Division fixtures, Mufulira Wanderers beat Nkwazi 1-0 away and drew 1-all at home.

However, coach Manfred Chabinga said his charges were ready for a tough encounter against Nkwazi.

Chabinga said the players are mentally prepared for Nkwazi and therefore they will apply consciousness to the game.

“It will be a tough game because Nkwazi is a good side. I know Nkwazi would want to prove a point tomorrow (today) but the boys are ready for any surprises. Last year, we failed to go past the quarter-final stage, but the boys are ready to change history,” he said.

Police outfit Nkwazi coach Elijah Chikwanda said the team’s target is to win its first silverware and therefore will not leave anything to chance.

“Our games against Mufulira Wanderers have always been tough. This is a tricky meeting for us hence the boys need to remain focused. But my boys are ready to record victory,” he said.

Meanwhile, Power Dynamos is expected to face a tough challenge when they take on Green Buffaloes at 15:15 hours.

The Tenant Chilumba coached side is tipped to carry the day owing to their past good record over Green Buffaloes with a 2-1 defeat in a Super Division match on May 6 .

Chilumba said the boys know well what is at stake and therefore they will not take today’s game lightly.

“Green Buffaloes is a good side and they will launch a tough challenge. The boys are ready and set to grab a win,” he said.

From the K2.2 million Barclays Bank is pumping into this year’s tournament, K300,000 will go to the winners while the runners-up will receive K150,000.

The coach of the tournament will again pocket K10,000 with the player of the tournament reaping K5,000 while K1,000 has been reserved for the man-of-the match in each of the eight matches in this year’s competition.