ZIMBABWEAN soccer champions Dynamos on Sunday return to Rufaro Stadium to face continental foes Asec Mimosas in their opening Africa Champions League mini-league phase match.
Dynamos lost 2-4 on aggregate to a teenager-dominated Asec in the two-legged final of the Champions League in 1998, and 10 years down the line, local fans will on Sunday have a chance to go down memory lane at Rufaro.
This match comes at a time when the national side has had a streak of lacklustre performances that could relegate the team’s support to an all time low.
Following the Warriors’ poor performances, Dynamos fans, who are the majority of the national team supporters anyway, will be searching for some sort of redemption on Sunday.
This is quite a significant match in so many ways.
Dynamos fans strongly believe that some of their players should have been part of the national side that has struggled in the first rounds of the combined World Cup/African Nations Cup qualifiers, but fell by were overlooked.
With Esrom Nyandoro struggling, Justice Majabvi could have been given a run in the central midfield role, while Edward Sadomba, though only a makeshift striker, could possibly have done a lot better than both struggling skipper Benjani Mwaruwari and his ageing partner Gilbert Mushangazhike.
Sunday provides an opportunity to the national team pretenders to prove their international mettle against an Asec side which despite not being the continental powerhouse they used to be a decade ago, is still good enough to be used as a barometer for supremacy.
Dynamos might have already beaten reigning champions Etoile Sportive du Sahel in their own backyard to progress to this stage, but the mini-league phase is a different ball game altogether because teams are measured on consistency and skill.
Mistakes are usually punished harshly.
After hosting Asec, Dynamos heads for Egypt where they will play both Al Ahly and Zamalek on the trot.