Exclusive: Vodacom Challenge Match brought closer to Zimbabwe, as Manchester City comes with Benjani Mwariwaru

benjaniJOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News)--THOUSANDS of Zimbabwean football fans are expected to throng Peter Makoba Stadium in Polokwane in order to watch their own son / brother Benjani Mwariwaru when Manchester City Football Club takes on Orlando Pirates in two weeks' time, sponsors of the Vodacom Challenge confirmed. (Pictured: Benjani Mwariwaru during a match)

Vodacom Challenge Tournament features three clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates (both South Africa) and Manchester City of England.

The Pirates / Manchester City match penciled for 18 July will mark the 10 Anniversary of the Vodacom Challenge Tournament. Chief Executive Officer for Limpopo Tourism and Parks, Benny Boshielo, said he was thrilled that the much awaited tournament is being hosted in the northern province of South Africa where the country shares borders with Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique respectively.

The Limpopo Province is home to over 5 million people and geographically touches on the borders of neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. I am sure that our decision to host the opening leg of the Vodacom Challenge in Polokwane will enhance our provinces status as a tourist friendly area that is serious about bringing world class sport to the community, said Boshielo.

The tournament promoter urges soccer enthusiasts to purchase their match tickets early to ensure that they are among the 18 000 supporters expected to watch the opening match of the popular international club tournament.

While two-time tournament winners Orlando Pirates will be keen to show the football skills that saw them contest the Absa Premiership title race down to the final day of the 2008/2009 league season, Manchester City will be looking for their first win on South African soil.

Their Manchester City’s previous trip to South Africa, was on a pre-season tour in 1993, in which they beat Santos 1-0 in Cape Town and played to a 1-all draw with Manning Rangers in Chatsworth, near Durban.

While Manchester City are expected to bring a powerful squad to South Africa which includes the likes of Mwariwaru, Brazilian striker Robinho, Welsh international goal-getter Craig Bellamy and newly-signed England international midfielder Gareth Barry, Orlando Pirates supporters are expected to rally behind their team that is likely to include popular stars such as goal-scorer Katlego Mashego, midfielder Benson Mhlongo and defender Lucas Thwala.

With tickets for the Limpopo leg on sale at Computicket, Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper outlets nationwide at R100 per ticket (main grandstand, unreserved seating) and R45 per ticket (open seating, unreserved), the tournament promoters have gone out of their way to keep ticket prices reasonable while still guaranteeing a world class, well organised sports entertainment package.

Following the Polokwane match, the English club will travel to Durban to take on Kaizer Chiefs at the Absa Stadium on Tuesday, 21 July (20h15 kickoff). The Buccaneers and the Amakhosi will clash in the Soweto Derby showdown at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, 23 July (20h15 kickoff).

The coveted Vodacom Challenge title will be on the line when the winners of the Soweto Derby take on Manchester City in the showpiece final at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane on Saturday, 25 July–CAJ News.

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