Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa will be banking on his team’s impressive away record so far in the season as he and his charges descend on Barbourfields for a potentially explosive Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter against old foes Highlanders this afternoon.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
But his counterpart, Dutchman Erol Akbay, who masterminded Bosso’s first win over Dynamos at Barbourfields in a decade last season, says a match of this magnitude has no need for tactics, but rather, is won by the team with a winning mentality.
DeMbare find themselves in an unfamiliar 12th position on the log standings after seven rounds of matches with as many points, all of which were acquired on the road.
The Harare giants have lost all the games they have played at home so far this season, while they have not lost a match away from home and will look to build on that record this afternoon.
“We are happy with what we have achieved away from home this season and we look to continue to do well. We are very comfortable to play anywhere in the country, even at Barbourfields and hence the name Dynamos. Everywhere we go, we seem to have more supporters than the host teams,” Mutasa told Standardsport yesterday.
While admitting that it will be a difficult match for his team, Mutasa conceded that today’s encounter was a must-win for his charges, who are always expected to win against their bitter rivals.
“Every team that plays Dynamos is motivated to beat us. This is the battle of Zimbabwe, probably the biggest match on the local football scene but as an institution, we always want to win whenever we play,” he said.
Unfortunately for Mutasa, he faces Bosso who dropped to fifth place, with a depleted defence after defenders Lincoln Zvasiya and Gift Saunyama failed to make the trip to Bulawayo due to injuries.
Obey Mwerahari is suspended this week, adding to Mutasa’s woes, while midfielder Takunda Sadiki who lost his mother during the week has been left out of the team.
He is, however, boosted by the presence of former Highlanders forward Masimba Mambare, who is expected to marshal DeMbare’s youthful attack.
Mambare always seems to reserve his best for his former paymasters since crossing the great divide to join the Harare giants.
Last month the nimble-footed former Motor Action forward continued his good run of form against Bosso when he rose from the bench to score the opening goal of the match in the Independence Cup final which DeMbare went on to win after a penalty shootout.
After losing to Dynamos in the Independence Cup finals in April, Akbay says the difference between the Dynamos of last year and the current side is that they have faster strikers.
“The only difference between the team we beat last year and the one that beat us last month I think, is they have three very fast strikers. Last year they were not very fast, this year maybe they are not better but faster. We have to focus on our defence to deal with the fast strikers because they can be dangerous when you have a slow defender,” he said.
Akbay said Highlanders would be looking for nothing more than three points to remain on top of the log. Bosso were displaced from the top of the log by ZPC Kariba, who beat Tsholotsho 2-0 yesterday.
“If we get maximum points we remain on top, that’s what we want this weekend. In these kind of games, tactics don’t really work. What I believe in this kind of game is whoever wants to win it badly is the one who will win it on Sunday [today]; we have to have a winning mentality,” said Akbay.