FOUR years ago Tambuti FC, then MTN National First Division champions elect, came within 90 minutes of reaching what would have been their maiden cup final — Eswatini Bank but a Hebert Maruwa-coached Green Mamba proved to be a hurdle.
On that semi-final afternoon, Tambuti had held firm only to fall 2-1 but had absolutely no reason to drop their heads as there was everything gallant than shame in them as they surpassed certain expectations and won admiration from many neutrals.
Having lost that ‘‘Battle of Zimbabwe Mentors’’, Tarisai Changara is inspired to put up a fight and let his lads leave it all on the rectangular green as they search for that elusive cup but will still take it stride by stride lest an overstep leaves them a lost ball in tall grass.
“We have been to this stage before and that creates a barometer for us which we have to replicate or better. What is important for us is to take it game by game before talking semi-finals or finals. Remember every team remaining is eyeing the trophy,” said Changara.
Tambuti FC are yet to know their quarter-final opponents and that draw could inevitably pit them against any of the country’s big four Green Mamba, Mbabane Highlanders, Mbabane Swallows or Young Buffaloes.
They could also pull any of this lightweight trio — Malanti Chiefs, Madlenya or Moneni Pirates — out of the draw bag, but whoever the next opponent Changara and his lads have a battle to fight on the field of play as passage to the ultimate goal won’t be given on a silver platter.
The last Eswatini Bank Cup winning Zimbabwe coach was Lloyd Mutasa when he led his Green Mamba lads to the podium in 2011, qualifying for the Caf Confederation Cup where he was drawn against FC Platinum for the 2012 edition. —@NoelMunzabwa