The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Kawashu Eyes Glory With Speacil Team

MONOMOTAPA forward Makai Kawashu is looking beyond the Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-final clash against FC Platinum and wants the Harare side to win this second edition of the tournament.

Monomotapa, who perished in the first round last season when losing 1-0 to Motor Action, have enjoyed a fairy-tale run after emerging victors from two close encounters against Hardbody and Highlanders.

But if there is anything unique about the 2012 class of Monomotapa, which makes them special in the hearts of many football fans, it is their sleek passing brand of football.

Monos have succeeded to bring entertainment to the stadium and their game is a refreshing diversion from the monotonous kick-and-rush affair that domestic football fans have come accustomed to in recent years.

And, after bowing out of the league race, Kawashu believes all their attractive displays may account for nothing at the end of the season if they walk home empty-handed.

"I think we have played so well than the previous seasons and in all fairness this year we deserve something better. It will be very exciting to win something tangible like a cup winners' medal. So we are looking forward to the match against FC Platinum and we would like to go all the way to the final," he said.

Kawashu will be coming against his former paymasters as he played for the Zvishavane side in 2005 when they were still known as Mimosa Mine, then in Division Two. Kawashu believes winning this lucrative tournament and playing in the Confederation Cup next season will be a worthy consolation for missing the title this season.

But, just as FC Platinum have turned the corner to become a big force, he has since evolved from a junior player at Arcturus Mine, where he began his football career before moving to Zvishavane, to a championship medal winner with the Monomotapa Class of 2008.

He believes it has been a while since Monomotapa made a big impact on the domestic game.

The Harare side, who also performed beyond expectations in their debut Champions League in 2009, have mounted a strong challenge for the Mbada Diamonds Cup, which carries with it a ticket to the second tier Confederation Cup.

Monos are currently vying for a third place finish with Chicken Inn after losing much ground in two successive defeats to Gunners and Dynamos in their last matches.

"It happens in football but I think we have regained our morale. It doesn't mean that when you lose a match then you have to keep your heads down.

"There are people with a great fighting spirit at Monomotapa. We are fighters and I think we understand each other well," said Kawashu.

Monomotapa carry a slight psychological advantage into the match as they have dominated their opponents in league encounters this year.

Biggie Zuze's men beat FC Platinum 2-0 at home in their first meeting and they continued with their dominance at Mandava where they thumped the hosts 3-0.

But, above everything else, Monomotapa have won many hearts courtesy of their 'carpet' football, which many fans have found charming.

"We do lots of practice. The coaches work very hard to make sure that we grasp and correctly apply the techniques that you see on field of play in our games.

"At the end of the day we have perfected our own kind of football, which we are comfortable to play be it at home or away.

"Whether you support us or not you will only have to like how we play if you are someone who appreciates good football."

"For example, if you look at the quarterfinal match against Highlanders we were trailing 2-0 and one would have thought it's us who were leading because of the way we dominated play.

"That's how we handle each and every game we play. Even if we are trailing we don't panic," said Kawashu.

Monomotapa ousted giants Highlanders in impressive fashion after coming back from a two-goal deficit and win 3-2 at the Colliery.

They had also eliminated Hardbody by the same scoreline in a first round match.

However, Monomotapa will be without chief striker Tawanda Nyamandwe who aggravated an ankle injury during last Sunday's league match against Dynamos.

A lot, however, should be expected from their man-of-the-moment Ronald "Rooney" Chitiyo.

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