After souring to the top of the log standings for the first time this season, Harare giants Dynamos are already dreaming of a league and Cup double as they begin their Chibuku Super Cup campaign with a tricky home date against Bulawayo at Rufaro Stadium today.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Dynamos lead the league championship race and have now set their sights on winning the Chibuku Cup for the first time since it bounced back onto the local football arena three years ago.
In fact, memories are still fresh of their 2-1 loss to Harare City in the final of the competition two years ago.
“Every institution wishes to be winners in every competition that they compete in and we are no exception. We have not won it before, so we want to win it,” coach Lloyd Mutasa told Standardsport.
“It’s a very important tournament because it gives the winners an opportunity to represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup. It also enhances our chances of ending the season with something in our trophy cabinet if we miss out on the league.”
After reaching the final in 2015, Dynamos fell on the first hurdle last year, losing to How Mine on penalties.
However, Mutasa is wary of the rigours of fighting for trophies on two fronts.
“We will extremely enjoy fighting in the two tournaments, but it comes with a lot of pressure and I think we have enough players to adjust. We will have to rotate the squad to keep the players from fatigue as the league nears the end,” Mutasa said.
Dynamos welcome back into the squad chief striker Christian Epoupa, who is still to complete his suspension in the league, but is eligible to play in the Cup.
Obey Mwerahari, Carlos Rusere and Musa Madhiri are all out injured.
The last time Dynamos met Bulawayo City, there was a seven-goal thriller at the National Sports Stadium and today’s encounter promises more of the same.
Mandla Mpofu’s side is famed for their penchant to upset big teams and DeMbare have to be at their best to dump the visitors out of the Chibuku Cup.
Meanwhile, in the biggest match of the first round, league champions Caps United, who are yet to lay their hands on the country’s biggest knockout Cup, take on holders Ngezi Platinum at Baobab Stadium today.
Odds favour the hosts to win the match and avenge a 3-0 loss in the league at Rufaro Stadium last month. Caps United’s preparations were hampered by mid-week engagements as they travelled to Hwange for a match on Thursday.
Arriving back in Harare on Friday, the Green Machine face Ngezi Platinum without training and fatigue could catch up, considering the team was in action against Dynamos last Sunday.
The Chibuku Cup probably hands Lloyd Chitembwe and his lads the opportunity for silverware this season as they sit well behind the leading pack in the league.
On the other hand, Ngezi Platinum gaffer Tonderai Ndiraya has made clear his team’s intention to defend the title they won in their first season in top flight football last year.
In other matches, Sunday Chidzambwa’s ZPC Kariba host Zvishavane side Shabanie in Kariba, while How Mine entertain Bantu Rovers in Gweru.
Bulawayo giants Highlanders lock horns with former champions Harare City in another potentially-explosive tie of the Chibuku Cup.