DYNAMOS seek to finish off Swaziland’s Royal Leopards in the return leg of the African Champions League first round in Harare this Sunday.
Although they won the first leg in Mbabane 1-0, Dynamos know full well their lead is far from comfortable especially at a time their new-look team is yet to gel.
The Zimbabwe champions last week put up an unimpressive show when they beat Highlanders 1-0 for a 2-1 aggregate win to lift the Nestle Charity Shield.
But Dynamos coach David Mandigora will be glad last Sunday’s match gave him another opportunity to remedy his side’s shortcomings.
Lazarus Muhoni, who scored the winner away to Royal Leopards, is expected to be in the team alongside a couple of other new players at Dynamos – among them Benjamin Marere, Brighton Tuwaya, Thomas Svesve and Admire Dzukamanja.
Highlanders on the other hand are not expected to let slip their 3-0 first-leg win when they face Mozambique’s Ferroviario de Nampula in a CAF Confederations Cup first round tie this weekend.
Methembe Ndlovu’s charges might have struggled against Dynamos last week, but they were clearly superior to Ferroviario de Nampula in their first meeting at Barbourfields a fortnight ago.
The Bulawayo giants should find it hard not to progress to the next round.
lMeanwhile, former champions Union Douala of Cameroon and Ghana’s Hearts of Oak face embarrassing early elimination in the first round of the African Champions League this weekend.
Both must fight back after first-leg defeats when they play at home in the second leg of their first-round matches, which are among 23 ties this weekend.
Hearts of Oak, who won the competition eight years ago, lost 3-0 when they travelled to Gabon a fortnight ago to face FC105 Libreville.
The Accra club also slipped up in the domestic league on Sunday when they were beaten 2-0 at Real Tamale United.
The weekend’s match in Accra marks the debut of Hearts’ new Israeli coach Eyal Lachman.
Lachman has previous experience of continental club competition, having led Israeli side Hapoel Bnei Sakhnin to a Uefa Cup place four years ago.
Union Douala seek to overcome a 3-1 deficit when they host ASKO Kara of Togo but the quality of their squad looks a long way behind the standards set when they won the title in 1979.
Other former champions are expected to complete the formality of victory after success in the first leg.
Five-time winners Zamalek of Egypt have a 2-1 lead from their tie at Rwanda’s APR FC earlier this month while Club Africain of Tunisia are in the same positive position when they host ASC Saloum from Senegal.
Algeria’s Entente Setif won 5-1 in Mauritania against ASC SNIM to record the largest margin of victory in the first leg and, with home advantage in the return match, are expected to reproduce a goal feast for their supporters.
There are 10 clubs who play at home in the second leg this weekend having already won away in the first leg. – Staff Writer/Reuters.