Rhinos primed to attack Chiefs

Stanford Stix Mutizwa

BLACK Rhinos are motivated by their rich history in the Chibuku Super Cup as they prepare for their semi-final clash against Bulawayo Chiefs in Zvishavane on Sunday.

Under normal circumstances, winning this competition should have meant a ticket to the Confederation Cup, but since Zimbabwe is banned by Fifa from international football, the win will just be just another trophy in the cabinet.

Rhinos wrote a glorious page for themselves in the Chibuku Cup tournament, defying odds staked against them to reach the final of the prestigious tournament in 1987 in which they met giants Caps United and beat them to the trophy.

Coach Stanford Stix Mutizwa, widely regarded as one of the finest midfielders to emerge in domestic football, was part of that great squad having joined from Caps United in 1984.

While he couldn’t play in the first leg of that final which ended in a stalemate due to injury, he was available in the replay in which he scored both goals as Black Rhinos emerged 2-0 winners to lift the trophy.

Now he is coaching the army side where they have done well in the league since he took over and are placed eighth on the standings with 43 points, with four matches left in the campaign.

With nothing special to play for in the league which is now guaranteed to FC Platinum except for a better ranking, the Chibuku Super Cup tournament offers another opportunity to win an alternative medal.

And Mutizwa believes the current Black Rhinos squad fits the billing by being able to reach the semi-final of the tournament. He said history was a great motivator for his lads.

“I have a rich history in this tournament having played in the final and won it against Caps United in 1987. So Black Rhinos have got history in this tournament,” he told NewsDay Sport yesterday.

“The current squad has also done very well to get to these semi-finals. That is pushing us as a team to try and reach the final again.  We are aware Bulawayo Chiefs have beaten us in the league, but the boys are in top form, they have been doing very well. Besides, this is a cup tournament and it is different from the league. Our preparations have gone on very well and we are looking to win and progress to the final.  We have everyone available for the match and we have worked on all aspects of the game and it’s now up to the boys to deliver,” he said.

Bulawayo Chiefs, who defeated Black Rhinos 1-0 in the league, recently lost to Bulawayo City and they will be looking for a change of fortunes.

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