MANICA Diamonds’ gaffer, Jairos Tapera will treat Dynamos with respect, but remains determined to snatch maximum points when the two teams clash in a Castle Lager Premiership encounter at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Sunday.
Manica Diamonds last tasted how it feels to lose a match when they succumbed to a slender 0-1 defeat at the hands of Ngezi Platinum FC, and since then the club has struck a rich vein of form as they continue collecting points week-in, week-out.
Just when voices of discontent around the eastern border city were starting to question Tapera’s pedigree in football circles, his team dismantled ZPC Kariba 3-0 with current Premier Soccer League top goal scorer, Fortune Binzi grabbing a brace, while star midfielder, Bret Amidu put the icing on the cake with the other goal.
The Gem Boys went on shine in their match against Black Rhinos at Gibbo Stadium in Triangle when the army side was condemned to a humiliating 4-0 defeat, with Binzi scoring a hat-trick and Talent Chamboko getting the other goal.
Tapera led his men to a hard fought two-all draw against league defending champions, FC Platinum away at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane, where Binzi was once again on target and Gerald Bhero also scoring the other goal for the Gem Boys.
Last week on Saturday, the Gem Boys’ revival story continued when they outplayed Chicken Inn FC at Gibbo Stadium, thanks to a brace from the free scoring Binzi.
And on Sunday, the Mutare-based outfit will be in a for a DeMbare test.
Thus, Tapera admits the huge challenge posed by the Harare giants.
“Dynamos is the biggest team in Zimbabwe. We all know they also have the brightest young coaches at the moment. We will treat them we respect.
“However, we are in competition, we are in the same league and we also want the same points. We will go there with a positive mind and a positive game plan to get the best result,” said Tapera.
The Manica Diamonds coach will be praying for the speedy recovery for two of his key players – goalkeeper, Tedious Baye and skipper, Liberty Chakoroma.
“We have Tedious Baye, the goalkeeper and Liberty Chakoroma who have knee problems. We are waiting for the doctor’s report to see whether they will be fit for the match against Dynamos,” he said.
Tapera refused to read too much into Dynamos’ recent outings, saying playing against Dynamos is always a big challenge.
“It does not matter whether you are playing Dynamos, even when they are coming from a win, a draw or a defeat. They are a very difficult team to play and I think Sunday will be no exception,” said the former Young Warriors coach.
Going into the match against Dynamos, Manica Diamonds will be counting on their top man, Fortune Binzi, who has been scoring for fun in recent weeks.
The 24-year-old Sakubva-born and raised striker, who was duly awarded the April Footballer Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) player of the month, is the only player to have scored a hat-trick in the 2023 Castle Lager Premiership season so far.
The former Zamba Primary and Mutare Boys’ High school learner shot to the top of the Castle Lager Premiership Golden Boot race a fortnight ago when he raised his tally to six, before adding two more against Chicken Inn last week on Saturday at Gibbo Stadium.