Marshall Munetsi believes Zimbabwe have an advantage for the COSAFA Cup final
Posted: 9 June 2018 Time: 11:00
Orlando Pirates' Marshall Munetsi believes Zimbabwe have an advantage for the COSAFA Cup final against Zambia given their familiarity with Limpopo.
The Warriors have players that have plied their trade in the province, including Munetsi, who was on loan at Baroka in 2016/17, Bakgaga's Talent Chawaphiwa, Polokwane City goalkeeper George Chigova and former Kaizer Chiefs striker Brian Amidu, who never played a match for Amakhosi but featured for topflight returnees Black Leopards from 2012 to 2015.
Besides their strong contingent of PSL stars such as Mamelodi Sundowns ace Khama Billiat, Zimbabwe coach Sunday Chidzambwa, who steered the nation to COSAFA Cup honours in last year’s final by beating Chipolopolo, also had a stint in charge of Lidoda Duvha, as he oversaw the 2011 Nedbank Cup final loss to Pirates.
Zimbabwe will battle Zambia at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday looking for a record-extending sixth COSAFA Cup crown. They will need to raise their game after twice needing penalty shootouts to advance in the competition.
"It has been a good advantage because we are used to the stadiums, to the atmosphere. Most of the players are playing here in South Africa ... It's easy for us," says Munetsi.
"It would have been difficult going to different places which is not South Africa. So us, we can see it's an advantage, we are like at home now.
"Now we are trying to focus on our own mistakes and to be prepared. No team is easy these days, so we'll make sure that we up our game."
Meanwhile, the stocky 21-year-old says his loan spell at Bakgaga served him well in his first season in the PSL, having been signed by Bucs from Ubuntu Cape Town in 2016. He featured in 14 games in all competitions on his return to Pirates in 2017/18 as coach Milutin Sredojevic deployed him in defence and midfield.
"It did benefit me a lot, it's a good club," Munetsi says.
"They give youngsters an opportunity. And for me to just come and play in South Africa, it wasn't easy at first but when I went there they made my life easier with the coach Kgoloko Thobejane.
"He was giving me confidence that you can do anything and I upped my game from there, playing week in week out. I've improved a lot."