Mutasa in the dugout

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WARRIORS assistant coach Lloyd “Samaita” Mutasa is likely to take the FC Platinum hot seat when the Zvishavane-based outfit takes on Highlanders in the quarter-final of the returning BancABC Sup8r Cup at Mucheke Stadium, Masvingo, on Saturday.

Report by Fortune Mbele

Platinum appointed Mutasa acting head coach last week and are awaiting written clearance from his employers, the Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS), before he can assume duty.

He watched Platinum’s 1-0 win over Black Rhinos in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Mandava, Zvishavane, last Saturday from the stands. Mutasa takes over from Tennant Chilumba, who has joined Zambian side Power Dynamos after a brief stint with Platinum.

George Mawere, the FC Platinum president, yesterday said when he made a statement on Mutasa’s appointment last week, they had already received verbal assent from the uniformed forces and only await written confirmation for the Warriors assistant gaffer to start duty.

“When we issued that statement, we had already received verbal approval from ZPS. What is only left now is for us to get a written confirmation. We are just await ing the written confirmation and if we get that, he (Mutasa) will sit on the bench against Highlanders on Saturday,” Mawere said yesterday.

FC Platinum are definitely eyeing the $120 000 Sup8r Cup first prize after they were kicked out of the NetOne Charity Shield semi-final at home in Mandava in March.

Caps United bundled out FC Platinum out of the NetOne Charity Shield (5-4) in the sudden death of penalty shoot-outs in March only to lose 3-2 to Chicken Inn in the final.

Mutasa could be in for his first stern test on Saturday when they play wounded Bosso in Masvingo.

Highlanders are coming from two league defeats to Chicken Inn and Caps United and although still leading the pack on the Castle Lager Premiership standings, coach Kelvin Kaindu is definitely itching for a win in his next match and the only chance for resurgence will be to beat Platinum on Saturday.

Since coming into the league, Platinum have only beaten Bosso once, 2-0 in June 2011 at Mandava with Rahman Gumbo’s first assignment with the Midlands club, before losing 1-0 in the return leg at BF in August.

Last year, Bosso cruised past Platinum 1-3 at Mandava in April and after they had parted ways with Gumbo and Tendai Chikuni was in charge, they lost 1-0 in the reverse fixture. This year, after engaging Chilumba it was a battle of the Zambian coaches and they shared the spoils in a goalless draw at Mandava early last month.

Bosso and Platinum have not met in a cup tie before and since 2011 both sides have only won one piece of silverware, the former beating Dynamos 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out in the 2011 Independence Cup and the latter edging Hwange 2-0 in last year’s final of the Bob 88 Super Cup.

Highlanders lost 1-0 to Motor Action in the final of the 2011 Sup8r Cup at BF. The other quarter-finals of the Sup8r Cup will feature Chicken Inn and Shabanie Mine at Mandava on Friday with a double-header slated for Gibbo Stadium on Sunday where Dynamos will take on Buffaloes before Monomotapa engage Motor Action.