BRUISED and battered following their excruciating trouncing at the Colliery last week, Dynamos have vowed to patch their title aspirations in this afternoon’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Monomotapa at Rufaro.
BY ALBERT MARUFU
Though the champions remained rooted at the top of the log, the 4-2 hiccup allowed second placed Highlanders and Harare City to move within a point of their reach before yesterday’s games, with eight games to go.
The Glamour Boys welcome back defender Partson Jaure, who missed last week’s game through suspension, but they will be without the injured Oscar Machapa, suspended Ocean Mushure and Russel Madamombe, who is said to be honouring a contractual clause that bars him from facing his former team Monomotapa.
Highlanders will also be without injured playmaker Peter “Rio” Moyo, and suspended captain Innocent Mapuranga, as they make a long trip to Buffaloes’s Sakubva Stadium. Dynamos, who had never dropped a point to Hwange since 2006, still top the log with 41 points with the largely inconsistent Highlanders a point behind, as well as former leaders Harare City.
However, team manager Richard Chihoro yesterday told Standardsport that the match would be difficult, as they will be playing Monomotapa who are placed third from bottom with 23 points.
“There is no way Dynamos can lose two matches in a row. We are aware of the danger posed by Monomotapa, as they are fighting relegation, but we will certainly win the tie,” he said.
In the absence of Jaure, the Dynamos defense fell like the Berlin Wall, conceding four goals in Hwange, a fact which however Chihoro attributed to the souring temperatures.
“In Hwange we had a situation where every player — save for Ocean Mushure — was off form because the heat was just too much. That will not be the case at Rufaro and Monomotapa should know that,” he said.
However, Chihoro’s proclamations were quickly dismissed by Monomotapa coach Biggie Zuze, who said his charges will take inspiration from their opponents’ huge loss to Hwange last weekend.
“It is good that we are playing Dynamos against the background of them having lost last weekend. This will motivate our players, as they are aware that they are not invincible. They know what to expect from Dynamos,” he said.
“Our biggest undoing has been that we have been failing to score. This has largely been because the players were putting too much pressure on themselves. It is good that we managed to score against Tripple B.”
Monomotapa welcome back their first choice goalkeeper Tapiwa Zvaita from injury, but Nelson Melson and Ishmael Lawe will have to pass a late fitness test today.
At Sakubva, Highlanders will be praying for a Dynamos slip up and their own victory over Buffaloes.
“It is going to be a tough game, as we miss our top players Mapuranga and Moyo. However, we have equally good replacements. It is going to be a tough match as Buffaloes have a number of good players,” he said.
Elsewhere, CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro takes his crisis ridden charges to Zvishavane for a date with Shabanie while Black Rhinos take on How Mine at Luveve.
Shabanie Mine vs CAPS United (Maglas), How Mine vs Black Rhinos (Luveve, SS9), Buffaloes vsHighlanders (Sakubva), Triangle vs Hwange (Gibbo), Dynamos vs Monomotapa (Rufaro), Triple B vs FC Platinum (Dulibadzimu).