BLACK Rhinos coach Stanford “Stix’  Mutizwa has described the Chibuku Super Cup first round clash against  giants Caps United at the weekend as a massive game that evokes memories of their previous meeting in the final of the tournament way back in 1987.

Mutizwa, widely regarded as one of the finest midfielders to emerge in domestic football, made his name at Caps United after joining them in 1979. He was part of the all-conquering squad that won not only the Super League title that year, but also lifted all cup tournaments, earning themselves the Cup Kings tag. Among those trophies were the BAT Rosebowl, the Chibuku Trophy, the Rothmans Shield and the Castle Cup.

While the midfield magician is fondly remembered for his individual brilliance in the final of the BAT Rosebowl Cup against Arcadia United in 1982 when he scored a brace including a penalty that embarrassed goalkeeper Mighty Mhlanga to lift the trophy, the Chibuku Trophy final in 1987 against his former team Caps United remains one of the most emotional matches he has played in his career.

The former midfielder joined Black Rhinos in 1984 from Caps United and helped them win the league title that year. Interestingly, the two sides met in the final of the Chibuku Trophy three years later. Mutizwa did not play in the first leg which ended in a 3-3 stalemate because of injury. He was available in the replay in which he scored both goals as Black Rhinos emerged 2-0 winners.

“It’s one of the games I played against my former team Caps United. It was a very emotional match in which I scored both goals and Black Rhinos won the Chibuku Trophy. We again met Caps United in 1985 in the final of the Castle Cup, but we lost 1-0 after Friday Phiri scored the only goal of the match. Those were big matches and I am sure the latest one against Caps this weekend will be close to that. There are a lot of expectations on our part after we held FC Platinum to a draw last weekend. There have been some changes when I took over and with one win and a draw against the log leaders, a lot is expected from us. But these are cup games, they are totally different from the league games. However, we are ready for Caps United. These are my roots, I am their son, but I am now employed here and will be looking to win this match at all cost. It will be difficult of course, Caps United are a big brand and they have a very good coach, Lloyd Chitembwe. We will give them respect, but Black Rhinos are also a big team, they have been in the league for a very long time. I anticipate a very exciting match,” he said.

The two teams last met in a cup final in 2013 with Caps United prevailing 2-0 to win the ZNA Charity Shield trophy at Rufaro Stadium.

Caps United’s resurgence in the last few weeks after a spate of dreadful results in the league has generated a lot of anxiety among supporters as they shift focus to the Chibuku Super Cup hoping to restore yesteryear glory days.

The 1996 league title-winning squad also won several trophies that campaign with the main cup tournament being the BP League Cup after beating Arcadia United 4-2 in the final. They also lifted the Charity Shield, edging Black Pool 1-0 in the Independence Trophy: The icing on the cake was when they prevailed 2-1 over Zimbabwe Saints. The following year, they beat arch rivals Dynamos 3-2 to the Castle Cup.

While they have won other cup tournaments over the years, it is disheartening to their supporters that it has been a while since they lifted a major cup.

They last won the Zimbabwe National Army Charity Shield in 2017 when they edged Bulawayo giants Highlanders 3-2 on penalties at Barbourfields Stadium. They are, however, encouraged by the positive results they posted in recent weeks whereby they are unbeaten in six matches, winning three and drawing a similar number of games. They will be hoping to carry over that to the Chibuku Super Cup.

Makepekepe were unseeded during the Chibuku Super Cup draw, paying the price for their lacklustre show spread across two halves of the season which saw them go for seven consecutive defeats.

Source NewZimbabwe