By Mandla Ncube
The remaining four teams in the ZIFA Bulawayo Province Cup learnt their semi- final fate on Wednesday in a draw conducted at the ZIFA offices.
With the competition nearing its final chapter, the draw ensured that the semi –final ties will be nothing short of excitement.
Division 3 side Bulawayo City will play host to Division 2 outfit FMSA while Biya and Friends will square off with Khami United.
With each of the remaining semi-finalists already guaranteed of at least $1 000 RTGS dollars, the competition is expected to get tougher for the remaining teams.
Khami United who claimed the scalp of Bhekeni Celtics on the road to reach the semi-final already have set their eyes on the final.
“I urge my opponents to come in full preparation because I am looking to the finals, I want to win the finals because this draw was just fair”, said Trust Mutupo, Khami United Secretary.
Although, the competition has been largely a success, it has had its own fair share of controversies with games having to be called off due to violence, acting ZIFA Provincial Chairman; Allan Mpofu called on the teams to let football be the winner.
“As a body we don’t want to decide any games on paper, games must be played and won on the pitch”, said Mpofu.
Bulawayo City who are coached by former Highlanders captain Innocent Mapuranga and are investing a lot in their developmental structures won in the first round at the often difficult Ngenile ground, beating hosts Corn Cob 3-1. They then outclassed White birds 4-0 before edging Mthwakazi 1-0 to reach the last four.
FMSA Umguza who have also invested a lot in developmental football in the city beat Eagle Life 2-1 in the first round. They played to a 3-3 draw in the second round with Mpopoma Pirates before winning the tie 8-3 on penalties. A 2-0 win over Bulawayo Chiefs saw them reach the semi-finals.
Khami Utd saw off rivals Bhekeni Celtics 1-0 in Ntabazinduna in the last round. The match was however abandoned due to crowd trouble with the prison officers leading 1-0.
As Khami Utd goalkeeper was lying down injured, a fan entered the pitch to lift him up and that resulted in crowd trouble. The match was awarded to Khami Utd as a result. Before that they had accounted for Mountain Climbers in the first round 3-1 and Talen Vision 5-4 in the second round.
They face a Biya and Friends team that is the brain child of former Warriors, Young warriors and Highlanders captain Thulani Ncube. The team is coached by former Amazulu left back Goodson “Gure” Gama and have scored 11 goals on their way to the last four. They beat Saints and Lobengula Stars by an identical 4-2 score line in the first and second rounds respectively. A 3-2 win over Sabona Mzilikazi saw them reach the semi-final.
The semi-finals are set for Sunday.