Since Rodwell Chinyengetere’s defining goal five minutes from time at Rufaro five years ago, Hwange’s league visits to Harare to face Dynamos have been unfruitful.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
The forward separated the two sides on October 17 2010 when the match was headed for a goalless draw.
After that encounter, Hwange have failed to claim three points against Dynamos in Harare.
Chinyengetere will not be at Rufaro this afternoon when Dynamos clash with Hwange in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League reverse match, but judging from history, odds swing in the Harare giants’ favour.
While today’s match appears on paper to be a routine collection of at least a point for DeMbare, the Harare giants’ coach David Mandigora has warned his side against taking Hwange lightly.
“We cannot talk of history now because we are living in the present. This is a new game and everything would be different. Yes, we might have dominated Hwange in recent years but that does not mean we are guaranteed victory against them,” Mandigora said.
The two sides met seven days ago at the Colliery in the reverse fixture where they drew 1-1.
“It was not easy for us at the Colliery. Hwange are a strong side. We just have to work extra hard for three points.”
Striker Dominic Chungwa’s second half goal saved Dynamos after Munyaradzi Mungadze had thrust Hwange ahead.
The two will be around at Rufaro this afternoon but Dynamos carry the advantage of having newboys Richard Kawondera and Zivanai Mhanda available for selection.
Mandigora’s men have managed just 15 goals in as many matches, exposing the strikeforce as the weakest department.
While his predecessor Kalisto Pasuwa appeared lenient on strikers, Mandigora has proved to be ruthless on the forwards.
Farai Mupasiri and Patrick Khumbula have been shown the exit door by Mandigora and in the process creating space for Kawondera and Mhanda, while Takesure Chinyama is also set to be unleashed.
“We are still waiting for Chinyama to be cleared but we are happy that Zivanai and Kawondera will be available to play on Sunday [today]. This is a positive for us. I hope these guys will add something good in the team,” said Mandigora.
DeMbare’s star man Ronald Chitiyo is however doubtful for today’s match after sustaining an ankle injury at training last week.
“Rooney [Chitiyo] is an important player in the team. But if he does not recover on time, then there is nothing we can do. We will just make do with those available,” said Mandigora.
While Dynamos are enjoying a boost in the availability of Mhanda and Kawondera, it is a different tale for Hwange who would be missing five players due to injuries.
“Newman Sianchali, Nkosana Siwela and Phakamani Dube were involved in a car accident last week and have not travelled to Harare.
Isaac Masame and Tonisani Sibelo are also injured.
Hwange coach Nation Dube said he could be forced to employ Maqawe Mpofu and Aleck Marime who are not yet fully recovered from long-term injuries.
“I am now in a tight corner,” conceded Dube.
“I wanted Aleck and Maqawe to fully recover but I might be forced to play them. I will see what will happen. This is going to be a tough match. Dynamos are a good side but we will try to come back home with a good result.”
Hwange are just a rung above the relegation zone and have not won in their last four games.
Meanwhile, Highlanders visit Triangle at Gibbo on the same afternoon.
The league’s first leg between the two sides ended 1-1 at Barbourfields last weekend as Triangle coach Kelvin Kaindu came close to humiliating his former employers.
Triangle played the better part of the game with 10 men after Charles Rukwanhi was controversially red-carded.
By claiming maximum points today, Kaindu could end Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu’s reign as Bosso coach, but the Zambian has chosen to be diplomatic.
“Football is played on the field of play. If it was played off the pitch, then every team would be on top of the log,” said Kaindu.
“It is not going to be easy against Highlanders, but we will try our best. We have been working on our strengths and weaknesses. I know Highlanders are strong away than at home so this means we have to be very much alert. I have a slight advantage that I know most of their players, but I am sure the players also know about me.”