HARARE – The battle between Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa and his former boss Lloyd 'Samaita' Mutasa, now in charge of FC Platinum, will provide and interesting subplot to Wednesday's potentially explosive Castle Premiership clash between the two clubs in Zvishavane.
Dynamos legend Lloyd Mutasa was fired as the Harare giants’ coach midway through the 2011 season to be replaced by none other than his trusted lieutenant Pasuwa, who was his assistant at the time.
Different conspiracy theories were thrown around back then, with fingers being pointed at Pasuwa in some quarters for his supposed hidden hand in the demise of Mutasa, his former Dynamos teammate and long-time personal friend.
But Pasuwa would later vindicate himself that season in the eyes of the DeMbare faithful by not only steering the club to its first league title in four years, but also successfully defending the club’s league and cup double last season.
A lot has changed since then, and this afternoon at Mandava Stadium the two buddies will meet for the first time albeit on opposite sides.
Some form of revenge will obviously be on Mutasa’s mind, and there could not be a better time for Mutasa to do so against an under-fire Pasuwa and his stuttering team.
Dynamos might be leading the Castle Premiership table, but they are currently struggling, having lost a lot of ground in defence of their title.
There have been calls from a legion of Dynamos fans to sack Pasuwa or reinstate former assistant coach Tonderayi Ndiraya, who some believe was the actual brains behind DeMbare’s success of the last two seasons.
The 1-0 defeat against Philani Ncube’s How Mine in the Mbada Diamonds Cup on Sunday means DeMbare have not won a match this month, having lost 4-2 away to Hwange before a goalless draw against Monomotapa at home. The last two were league encounters.
And now Mutasa, who was appointed Platinum coach following Tenant Chilumba’s shock resignation earlier in the season, believes his charges can heap more misery on his former paymasters.
Platinum are currently in fourth place on the log table with 39 points, trailing Dynamos by three points.
“If we win, we can put more pressure on them. If we get three points, it will be massive for us,” Mutasa told the Daily News.
“The championship destiny is no longer in our hands but we want to finish the season on a high. Beating Dynamos tomorrow will be a big victory for us. If we can finish in the top four, it will be a good achievement for the club. So the only way to achieve that is to collect as many points as we can.
“Playing Dynamos is a motivation on its own and we are happy everyone is fit and raring to go. Not all matches come bigger than this one. We are expecting to give a good account of ourselves.
“We are trying to take advantage of teams that are maybe a bit low on confidence.”
Mutasa, however, warned his charges not to read too much into Dynamos’ current form.
“We also need to be very careful,” said the former Warriors assistant coach.
"We should not read much into their performance. We have to concentrate more on our performance. Dynamos will obviously want to start winning and we need to be very careful in our approach.”
Pasuwa’s men, who have been awful on the road this season, will be hoping to start picking up maximum points if they are to successfully defend their title.
Dynamos will be without skipper Murape Murape, who lost his father this week, while Platinum will miss forward Charles Sibanda through a shoulder injury.
Wednesday: Harare City v Black Mambas (Rufaro), Motor Action v How Mine (Motor Action Sports Club), Caps United v Chicken Inn (ZNS Stadium), Hwange v Shabanie Mine (Colliery), FC Platinum v Dynamos (Mandava), Black Rhinos v Buffaloes (Rimuka), Highlanders v Tripple B (Barbourfields).