28 March 2017

NORMAN Mapeza took a big gamble taking charge of the Warriors against Zambia at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

He admits he had to mix Ngezi Platinum and CAPS United to save himself the blushes.

The Warriors caretaker coach took an almost entire Ngezi Platinum back four comprising of Patson Jaure, Godknows Murwira and Qadr Amini.

He then partnered Jaure with CAPS United’s outstanding defender Dennis Dauda while CAPS United goalie Edmore Sibanda was number one.

Although the team fired blanks on the day, the defence managed to keep a clean sheet in the goalless draw against Zambia to avoid what could been a big embarrassment for the highly rated coach.

“It is difficult because the season is even to start. That is why you see the majority of the players even came from Ngezi and CAPS United.

“If our season had started I would have said, look I have a squad that can even compete at the CHAN tournament. But for now we just had a squad to play against Zambia,” Mapeza said.

Given the short period that was there to prepare the team, with the association confirming the friendly matches Tuesday afternoon last week, there were no takers for this job.

H-Metro understands even the appointment of the coach was a gentleman’s agreement between the association and club, which left the coach with no option but accept his employer’s position.

It is not clear if there was anything official sent to FC Platinum by the time the coach entered the dugout to guide what was more of a CAPS United and Ngezi Platinum select side.

The coach avoided the politics. “It is a national cause and there is nothing can do. It can be Chidzambwa tomorrow and it can be Chitembwe tomorrow,” he said.

On Sunday Mapeza also had to start with his own FC Platinum players Winston Mhango and Rodwell Chinyengetere saying he needed their experience to stabilise ship.

The two however did not really come to the party, with CAPS United’s Devon Chafa replacing Mhango at the start of the second half.

CAPS star Ronald Chitiyo and Ngezi Platinum’s Terrence Dzvikamanja were some of the players Mapeza had to rely on.

Ngezi Platinum left back Qadr Amini believes they did well considering the circumstances.

“We played well as a team though we missed some chances. Maybe it is because we didn’t have more time to prepare. We just trained two days only but we did great,” said Amini.

“If you look at Zambia, they have been together before with the same coach. It shows they have a great understanding of each other.

“As for myself, I’m really grateful to the coach Mapeza for the opportunity to play for the national team. But it demands that I work more to get another chance in the future,” said Amini.