After having lifted his first ever silverware last year while at Highlanders, will Mkhuphali “Mr Cooper” Masuku lead Caps United to the Holy Grail in the Mbada Diamonds Cup?
REPORT BY FORTUNE MBELE SPORTS REPORTER
Mr Cooper is at the helm at the Green Machine following the 10-year ban from all football activities imposed on former coach Taurai Mangwiro for his alleged involvement in the Asiagate match-fixing scandals.
On Sunday, he leads Caps against perennial rivals Dynamos in the semi-finals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup at Barbourfields Stadium.
Masuku trod Emagumeni in charge of Highlanders after taking over from Egyptian national Mohamed Fathi to finish the 2010 season on position four.
His first silverware as head coach was the 2011 Independence Trophy with Bosso when the Bulawayo football giants beat Dynamos 4-2 in a penalty shootout at the National Sports Stadium, but ended the season on position seven.
Highlanders did not renew his contract at the end of 2011 until his next job in the Premiership landed him at Caps United as Mangwiro’s assistant after the sacking of Irishman Sean Connor and Lloyd Chitembwe.
Masuku yesterday said he was looking forward to a good game against Dynamos in the cup tie at Emagumeni where he cut his teeth as a Premiership coach.
“BF is where everything happened for me while I was at Highlanders, but now I am at Caps United and I am looking forward to a good outing on Sunday. I know it’s a cup game, but the most important thing is to play well and I would like to urge the Caps family right round the country to come in their numbers and rally behind the guys. And all those that will be neutral on the day, they must come and watch good football,” Mr Cooper said.
However, his first day in office was blighted by a 2-0 loss to Motor Action in a league match at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday for Caps United who have not won a single match at Rufaro this year.
Makepekepe have not beaten the Glamour Boys this year, losing through a solitary Tawanda Muparati goal at Rufaro Stadium in July before a 3-0 drubbing at the National Sports Stadium with goals from Farai Mupasiri, Guthrie Zhokinyi and Cliff Sekete.
Mr Cooper was already at Caps.
Could Barbourfields Stadium present a good opportunity for Mr Cooper to end Dynamos’ dominance over Caps United and stop the Glamour Boys from an imminent double? There is just 90 minutes and, maybe, a penalty shootout to find out.
Winners of the Mbada Diamonds Cup this year take home a cool $100 000 and a $150 000 subsidy to take part in the 2013 edition of the Caf Confederation Cup.