HomeSportMhlauri, Chunga face off

Mhlauri, Chunga face off

THERE are times in football when coaches grab the limelight from the players. That will be the case on Sunday when Dynamos and Caps United clash in a Buddie Premier Soccer League match at Rufaro Stadium.

e=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Caps coach Charles Mhlauri, who is also the national team head coach, is smarting after Caps’ 1-2 defeat to lowly Eiffel Wildcats on Wednesday afternoon that came hard on the heels of the Warriors’ degrading 1-5 rout by Nigeria in Abuja at the weekend.

Many observers believe that the Dynamos game is an opportunity for the under-fire national coach to redeem himself. But a closer review of events in the past two seasons shows that Caps have been dominating Dynamos in their meetings, and even without the six players who vanished in the UK, the current crop of Caps players may still be a handful for Dynamos.

This is then a “test of character” Mhlauri might grab with open hands. And for Mhlauri’s opposite number Moses Chunga, a group of Dynamos supporters has renewed the chorus that the former Zimbabwe international must be reinstated as the Warriors assistant after the defeat in Nigeria. A win for DeMbare will give weight to that school of thought.

But perhaps this is not the game to judge the coaches’ potential to hold fort on the international stage. It is a match that should just be viewed as a league derby between two great rivals.

On the field, the thousands of fans expected to fill Rufaro on Sunday will expect high entertainment value from the two Harare giants. At the same time, the match can be a dreary affair if both sides approach the game with caution for fear of exposing themselves.

Caps’ defeat to Wildcats on Wednesday leaves the log leaders with a seven-point lead over second-placed Masvingo, who have however played a game more.

For Dynamos, having collected four points from their last two matches, they will be eager to win to ease their relegation worries.

Second-placed Masvingo ought to win at home to in-form Lancashire Steel at Mucheke to keep pressure on Caps. In Bulawayo, former champions Highlanders are expected to field their strongest side against bogey side Black Rhinos at Barbourfields after a player strike which forced them to use a second-string side in their 1-3 defeat to Lancashire last week.

Other Buddie PSL fixtures:

Tomorrow: Railstars v Monomotapa (Barboufields), Sundowns v Hwange (Pelandaba), Motor Action v Amazulu (Sakubva)

Sunday: Shabanie v Buymore (Maglas), Eiffel Wildcats v Chapungu (Rimuka). – Staff Writer.

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