Super Sunday at Mandava

HARARE - At the start of the 2014 season Harare City were touted as possible championship challengers after a tremendous 2013 season in which they missed the title only on goal difference.

Things did not go according to plan as the sunshine Boys had a nightmare start to the 2014 season losing their first six games on the trot.

The poor start ultimately cost coach Bigboy Mawiwi his job and he was replaced by his assistant Masimba Dinyero.

Dinyero had a good start to his new role as the head coach and appeared to have guided the Sunshine Boys out of danger.

Under Dinyero, the council-owned side put up a good run of form as they were able to pick up a number of vital points to move out of the relegation zone.

However, it all started to unravel for Dinyero ironically when his side lost 0-2 to FC Platinum at Rufaro Stadium on October 11.

Since then it has gone awry for the side as they have failed to win their last four matches, a situation that has seen them drop to just one place above the relegation zone.

This afternoon, the Sunshine Boys, however, have a good chance of bringing a smile back to their fans faces when they take on FC Platinum in the Chibuku Super Cup final at Mandava Stadium.

Dinyero is confident that his team will win this trophy and will also secure their status as a Premiership team for next season.

“Preparations are going on well and we have to be focused. Cup games are won by those who play well and the better team of the day will carry the trophy,” he said ahead of today’s match.

“You don’t have to underrate any team in a cup game because they are difficult to predict. Both games are important to us.

“If we win this cup it means we will be playing in the African Confederations Cup next season. The last league game is also equally important because we need to win it as well to secure our place in the Premier League next season.

“But we are not under any pressure. I don’t see this team playing football in division one next season.

While Dinyero and City are at a crossroads because of their situation in the league, it is not the same case in Zvishavane where FC Platinum and coach Norman Mapeza are enjoying a good time in the sunshine.

Since taking over the side in August, Mapeza has completely rejuvenated the FC platinum squad that appeared to be choking during Lloyd Mutasa’s tenure.

The Zvishavane-based side are currently in top form and have gone for seven games without testing defeat in the league and have already secured a top four finish.

FC Platinum captain Petros Mhari is well aware of the threat posed by Harare City.

“My teammates must not read much into City’s poor form,” Mhari told the Daily News on Sunday this week

“As you now everyone wants to win the Cup, if you look Harare City will be aiming to win this cup in order to boost their morale going into their last league match.

Despite beating Harare City twice in the league this season, Mhari believed that this is a new game.

“We are playing a new game against Harare City we might have beaten them twice in the league but it doesn’t mean anything because they will be looking for a revenge.

“Everyone in the team must know that Harare City is not small team we must be on our best if we need to win that game.

However, Mhari said the team is in high spirits following their seven matches unbeaten run and are eager to maintain the winning streak

“Despite the tough challenge from Harare City, I am very confident that we will win the cup because we also have good players who are hungry for success.

“We reached the finals after sailing through all stages and it proves that we are a good team, so we are looking for a positive result.

“If we can transform the same attitude from our previous few matches to Sunday’s I see ourselves winning the match. We played well in our last seven matches and we are looking forward to maintain the momentum.

“I think the main driving force to our recent fine performance is unity in the team, our senior players are helping our juniors on how to improve their game.

“Our coach also doesn’t select the team on seniority alone; I’m delighted to see that even young players are now being given more game time under him, which enables the team to post positive results during the second half of the season,” added Mhari.

Winners of the Chibuku Super Cup will pocket $75 000, while the losing finalists receive $50 000.

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