10 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Morale High At CAPS United

CAPS United legend, Brenna Msiska, has challenged the players to rise and be counted by beating rivals Dynamos in their blockbuster Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-final at Barbourfields tomorrow afternoon.

The former CAPS United goalkeeper believes his team has the capacity to upset their rivals with one thunderous swing that could settle their heavyweight contest on neutral soil.

Now an assistant coach at the club, the Green Machine feels their rivals cannot monopolise success and win the two big trophies, for the second year running, while CAPS United end the season with nothing.

Yesterday, the Green Machine, who arrived in Bulawayo on Thursday night, trained at White City as they intensify their preparations against DeMbare.

"It's unfortunate we were derailed by Motor Action last weekend but morale is still high and we are playing well," said Msiska.

"It is now up to the players to continue from where they left and play this match and win. This game means a lot to us and we should win and please our fans.

"Playing away, our chances are 50-50 and maybe we can have a plus with Highlanders supporting us as obviously they would want to see Dynamos losing.

"For us it is very important that we win this match and Dynamos already have one foot in the league and they cannot put two feet into glory."

Msiska said the Glamour Boys have been playing well but is confident that in such knockout matches, things can change very quickly.

"Dynamos have been playing well and collecting points," said Msiska.

"They also got all the points against us but now we are playing a Cup game.

"We are meeting once and the match has to be decided tomorrow afternoon. We have to work extra hard tomorrow and if we win this match then we will be confident that the Cup is ours because during our days whenever we would reach this stage we would be assured of the trophy."

CAPS United stand-in gaffer Mkhupali "Mr Cooper" Masuku is likely not to make many changes to the team which has been playing of late.

Goalkeeper Itai Chiwara, who suffered his defeat in goals for the Green Machine last weekend when he retrieved two goals from the nets against the Mighty Bulls, will be in goals.

Roving left back Asani Nhongo returns to the fold on the flank, replacing Arnold Chivheya, who played against Motor Action.

In the heart of defence, Blessing Zabula will be partnered by Tawanda "Rambo" Munyanduri who has been carrying a knock but appears to have recovered and is set to feature in the match.

Skipper Tapuwa Kumbuyani will be operating from the right.

And upfront, the gaffer is likely to go with Leonard Fiyado and Nqobile Mpala as he seeks to breach the defence of DeMbare led by the outstanding Partson Jaure.

Former Warriors' striker, Shingi Kawondera, is also back into the team's fold and may be thrown into the fray later in the match although his experience makes it tempting to start with him.

Masuku, who has revealed that he is missing coach Taurai Mangwiro who is banned from football, says life has to go on and would want to win the Cup for his boss.

Mangwiro chose Masuku, when he was appointed CAPS United coach, as the right man to help him and the dynamic young duo appeared to have struck a good combination as good results started coming.

CAPS United are backing Mangwiro and they became the first team to pay the US$6 000 appeal fine for their coach yesterday.

Top Harare lawyer, Tinofara Hove, who is one of the leading legal brains who have been involved in domestic football for some time now, is representing Mangwiro.

"We are treating it jut like any other match, we have been doing well and we are looking forward to another good game," said Masuku.

"We will stick to our game plan and we are not worried about how Dynamos have been doing and we will just play our game."

CAPS United have blamed Mangwiro's last-minute ban last week, which came on the eve of their match against Motor Action, for affecting their players after their entire dressing room burst into tears when the coach came to address the players.

The Green Machine believe this badly unsettled their players and they could not recover against the Mighty Bulls.

The irony of it all is that Motor Action continued to enjoy the services of their coach, Joey Antipas, even though he is set to be banned in the next batch of sanctions to be announced by Zifa.

For some CAPS United fans, such selective application of punishment is tantamount to having a direct influence in the outcome of matches, and there were many unhappy faces in their camp last Saturday at Rufaro.

But this is the big one, the winner takes everything, and CAPS United have a chance to either swim or sink and, if you ask Msiska, the stage is set for their grand celebrations in the City of Kings.

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