Pitso happy with Zim tour

HARARE - Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane expressed satisfaction with his team’s tour of Zimbabwe after closing with a goalless draw against local champions Dynamos on Sunday.

The Brazilians, who were on a five-day tour of the country, were denied a tour clean-sweep by DeMbare, having beaten Highlanders 2-0 and CAPS United 4-1 in their opening two matches.

Sundowns had an indifferent first half of the season in the Absa Premiership and currently sit in 10th place on the log standings from 16 games. The former South African champions were using the Zimbabwean tour to fine-tune ahead of the resumption of the league campaign next week.

The South African league is currently on a break owing to the African Nations Cup, which is currently underway in that country.

And after Sundowns wins against Highlanders and CAPS, DeMbare were on a mission to salvage some pride for the Zimbabwean PSL by at least denying the Pretorians a tour whitewash.

In forcing a draw against Downs, Dynamos won the admiration of the visitors’ coach Mosimane, who was impressed by the Glamour Boys’ disciplined display.

“It was good to engage a team like Dynamos,” said the former Bafana Bafana coach after the game.

“They gave us a little bit of resistance; they are a good, strong side. This is what we needed and we are happy with our preparations. This is a good preparation and I think coming to Zimbabwe was good for the team before our season resumes.

“To be honest, we didn’t get any clear cut chances today but we are happy with our tour. It was a successful one.”

Sundowns brought a strong squad comprising of experienced players such as Teko Modise, Surprise Moriri, Anthony Laffor, Elias Pelembe, Richard Henyekane, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Clayton Daniels, Wayne Arendse and Eleazar Rogers as well as the Zimbabwean trio of Method Mwanjali, Esrom Nyandoro and Nyasha Mushekwi.

Sundowns will kick-off their second half of the season with a game against leaders Kaizer Chiefs on February 12, hoping to breathe life into an otherwise horrible start to the season that saw the sacking of coach Johan Neeskens late last year.

As for Dynamos, the friendly offered them a first real test of their strength ahead of the defence of their league and cup double and the African Champions League campaign.

Coach Callisto Pasuwa was left with a lot of work to do before they face Lesotho Correctional Services later this month.

With speedy forward Farai Mupasiri carrying a back injury, Pasuwa threw in Patrick Khumbula who operated as a lone striker and the former Hippo Valley striker failed to justify his inclusion into the team.

The departure of Roderick Mutuma and Simba Sithole to South African clubs SuperSport United and Bloemfontein Celtics respectively compounded Pasuwa’s attacking woes.

The record Zimbabwean champions are now expected to fast-track the signing of Hwange striker Francesco Zekumbawire.

The big forward is expected to form a combination with his ex-Hwange teammate Allan Tavarwisa who showed glimpses of brilliance after being introduced as a second half substitute. - Godknows Matarutse

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