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It’s derby time!

BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE

IT’S arguably the most anticipated fixture of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.

A tie that divides the capital city into an antagonistic sea of green and blue, where current form and home advantage counts for nothing.

The match between the two sworn enemies Dynamos and CAPS United is slated for Rufaro Stadium this afternoon.

While the older generations claim that the derby has lost its lustre, they can’t afford to ignore this tie because it’s a meeting where countless heroes have
been birthed.

Only three season ago, a classic was served at the National Sports Stadium when CAPS United miraculously overturned a three-goal deficit in the last five
minutes to salvage a three-all draw.

Former Green Machine centre-back Dennis Dauda scored a late brace, while Amon Kambanje added the other to cancel out goals by Roderick Mutuma, Masimba Mambare
and substitute Tawanda Macheke

This season Dynamos and CAPS United are experiencing contrasting fortunes with DeMbare looking to swim out of danger, while Makepekepe’s name has been whispered among the favourites to win the league title.

But one cannot help, but feel another classic is in store.

And in the run-up to the Harare derby, Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya has invoked the “Dynamos of old” in his players.

“We want the Dynamos of old, and we all know the level of the Dynamos of old and that’s where we want our players to get to. We won’t be shy to keep telling
them, to keep pushing them until they reach those levels and that is the reason why we are here to remind them,” Ndiraya told journalists.

“Dynamos is not about pampering each other, it’s all about players knowing what they should do, players getting results for the institution, players pushing
themselves to get back to the levels, which are expected of them.”

Ndiraya has given a lot of flak to his inexperienced side for lacking the quality, experience and character to don the DeMbare blue and white stripes since he
took over.
The youthful coach was probably preparing his players for fixtures such as the Harare derby. While he has brought in experienced players such as Simba Nhivi,
Evans Katema, Archford Gutu and lately Godknows Murwira.

These new additions are likely to play a key role in the derby this afternoon.
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe, a hero of this fixture in days gone by, understands the magnitude of the Harare derby.

“This is one special fixture on the local football calendar. It has always been like that. Anything less than effort, intelligence and proper tactical
application will obviously be detrimental to any of the two teams,” Chitembwe said.

“It has always been the nature of the games between Dynamos and CAPS United that the players try to give their very best for their side and we are also
endeavouring to give a performance that is worth winning.”

Dynamos will be looking to capitalise on CAPS United’s recent dry patch in which they went on a four-match winless run which only ended with last weekend’s 2-0
victory over Yadah.

Makepekepe are third on the log standings.

Ndiraya’s men, sitting 10th, have blown hot and cold so far this season with two wins, three draws and one loss in their last six matches.

But it’s Ndiraya who has a bigger injury list with captain Edward Sadomba, Macheke and Ghanaian midfielder Robert Sackey on the doctor’s table.

CAPS United captain Valentine Musarurwa is out of the crucial tie with injury.

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