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POWER, NKANA MEET IN BARCLAYS SEMIS

 

TRADITIONAL old rivalry will be on display this afternoon when Nkana and Power Dynamos square off in the semi-finals of the Barclays Cup at Woodlands Stadium. And respect will be lost when army siblings take on each other as Young Buffaloes will be looking to tame ‘big brother’ Green Buffaloes in the early kick-off in this epic double-header that promises sparks.

Beston Chambeshi who won the Barclays Cup back in 2011 when he was Power Dynamos coach will be looking to win it as Nkana coach now. Nkana has never won the Barclays Cup and will be hoping to go a step closer to a maiden title if they win today against their arch rival Power who has won it twice, the other one in 2009.

And Chambeshi reckons his team is hungrier than his former side in wanting to win the cup.

“I know Power Dynamos, they have nothing to lose. Even if they lose they have something to talk about having won two Barclays Cup titles. So I don’t think they are hungrier than us. We are taking the game with a serious approach,” said Chambeshi.

But having failed to qualify for CAF continental football, Power coach Kelvin Kaindu has the Barclays Cup as the only consolation.

“We haven’t done very well in terms of the league and probably our only consolation is the Barclays Cup. They (Nkana) may have the depth and the players but we believe more in team play. We don’t normally single out individuals and that is the strength of how our team plays,” Kaindu said.

“Coming to the game, I think football is played on the field and we just need to focus and believe in ourselves. We have played them twice this season and we haven’t lost to them and we got four points off them. Though they are still the team to beat and are probably one of the teams that have been consistent in the second round of the season in which they have not lost a game.”

The tradition derby rivalry adds an extra motivation to this fixture and Lusaka supporters are assured that Woodlands Stadium will be divided in red and yellow colours today with bragging rights at stake.

In the first match today, Young Green Buffaloes will be looking to embarrass another big gun, having already claimed the scalp of giants and holders Zanaco in the quarter finals.

Coach Bilton Musonda has acknowledged that Young Buffaloes are just ‘young’ on paper because they are equal to the task.

“I think tomorrow will be a rare occasion, it’s a derby, we expect a good game, as a senior team we want to show that we can go all the way. By the name they are young but they are a big team…the Army Command wants to see good football, the command is happy that one of the Buffaloes team’s will reach the final. There is no order to win or lose…from the onset of the league till now, we have no stars we work as a team,” Musonda said of the game.

Musonda’s opposite number Josephat Mulenga said: “I am happy that the team has reached this far…it has been focus for us to reach this far. We are on the right track. We are featuring the same team that eliminated Zanaco.”

This is not the first time the two ‘Buffaloes’ will be meeting in a cup game.

They met again in the defunct Coca-Cola Cup when Musonda was coach of Young Buffaloes and they lost to Green Buffaloes 1-0 and it will be interesting to see if Mulenga will re-write history with his ‘young’ Buffaloes.

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