Mapeza, Dinyero in dreamland

HARARE – At the end of April this year Masimba Dinyero was a broken man after he was forced out of FC Platinum where he was assistant coach to then coach Lloyd Mutasa.

“I was forced to resign because the environment was no longer conducive for me to continue working. I was being suspected to be a saboteur and the painful part is that I didn’t know about it. The coach (Mutasa) never told me anything,” a teary-eyed Dinyero told the Daily News after his exit from the platinum miners.

But six months later, Dinyero is now in a much better mood compared to that difficult period when he fell out with his long time friend.

The 1989 Soccer Star of Year winner is now interim coach at Harare City and has stabilised the Sunshine Boys’ ship after a turbulent start to the season under Bigboy Mawiwi.

Harare City is now in eighth place on the log and are just five points away from a top-four finish in the remaining five games of the Castle Premiership season.

This is stark contrast to the team that lost all their opening six matches at the start of the season.

On Sunday, the Sunshine Boys, who were promoted to the top flight three seasons ago, reached their first major cup final when they defeated Highlanders 3-0 in the semi-final of the Chibuku Super Cup.

Dinyero was delighted with the way his players have turned around their season and the thumping victory over Highlanders was a testament of how they have progressed under the former DeMbare defender.

“I am happy with my players’ performance. They played according to instructions,” Dinyero said after the match.

“I am now looking forward to the final with FC Platinum and I am relishing the challenge because these are two teams who enjoys playing passing football. I am sure the better team on the day will win the game.

“We worked hard as a team to be in the final. Our target now will be to the cup. We need to be well prepared because cup games are difficult.

“I think if we can stay focused we stand a good chance of winning the cup. We just need to remain with the right attitude to the end.”

With championship race now out of their sight, City will be pinning their hopes on winning the Chibuku Super Cup and a top four finish that will also afford them a chance to play in the Mbada Diamonds Cup.

On the other hand, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza, is also enjoying his return to mainstream football after his hold-up following the Asiagate match-fixing scandal.

Mapeza’s promising coaching career that started with his championship winning tenure with Monomotapa in 2008 came to a screeching halt when he was banned for his perceived involvement in the match-fixing by Zifa in 2012.

The former Warriors captain spent two years in limbo as he fought against his ban while a number of coaching opportunities passed him by.

Mapeza finally returned to the dugout at the start of August this year when he was appointed by the platinum miners to replace Mutasa.

The former Galatasary defender quickly worked his magic to restore the confidence at the club ad results quickly started coming.

On Saturday, the Zvishavane-based side booked their place in the Chibuku Cup final after defeating Black Rhinos 1-0 at Rufaro Stadium.

Mapeza was delighted with the response from his players after working with them for only a short period.

“I spoke to the boys before the match and told them it could be achieved. I told them this is a cup semi-final therefore the tensions will be high so they had to be prepared,” he said.

“I’m happy to have reached the final. I have been at FC Platinum for only two months so to take the club to a cup final. I think it’s a great achievement.

“We have been working very hard. And I have been telling these guys the importance of playing in a cup final and I think we have achieved that.”

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