Murape sounds war cry

HARARE - Veteran midfielder Murape Murape says Dynamos must take a commanding first leg lead to Lesotho from their African Champions League preliminary round qualifier on Sunday against the mountainous Kingdom’s champions.

DeMbare host Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) at Rufaro Stadium, and Murape feels the Zimbabwean champions must kill off the tie at home before travelling to Maseru for the return leg in a fortnight.

“We have to use our home advantage and get as many goals as we can on Sunday,” Murape told the Daily News yesterday.

“All teams in Africa are strong at home and we need to carry a healthy lead for the second leg. I don’t know much about how they play when they are at home, but I’m sure it will not be easy.”

The 33-year-old offensive midfielder is one of only a handful of Dynamos players who played in the mini-league phase of the Champions League back in 2010.

In the last two years, the record 19-time Zimbabwean champions have crashed out of Africa’s premier club competition in the early stages.

In 2011, DeMbare were bundled out of the tournament after succumbing to a 3-0 away defeat to MC Algiers of Algeria, having won the first leg 4-1 in Harare.

Last year, the Glamour Boys suffered their worst ever defeat in Africa after Tunisian giants Esperance hammered them 6-0 in the first leg in Tunis before the two teams played out a 1-1 draw in Harare.

A lightweight in African football, Lesotho has not made a mark too in inter-club competitions, but Murape, a rookie squad member when Dynamos reached the Champions League final 14 years ago, has warned the team against complacency.

 “For me I think we must look at this tie as if we are playing against the champions of Africa, Al Ahly,” he said.

‘We are going to play the champions of Lesotho and for them to win the championship in their shows something about them. It takes a lot to become a champion and they must be taken seriously because they are playing in the Champions League.

“We might think that they because they come from a small nation like Lesotho so they are a small team, but that’s not the case.”

A lot has happened at DeMbare since they won the domestic championship last November.

Star players, midfield ace Denver Mukamba together with chief strikers Rodreck Mutuma and Simba Sithole were snapped up by South African clubs.

The club also parted ways with veteran fullback David Kutyauripo, captain Desmond Maringwa, forward Martin Vengesayi and midfielder Timire Mamvura.

Murape is however confident that the replacements brought in by coach Calisto Pasuwa will ably fill the void created.

“When a player comes at Dynamos they are made aware of our ambition to do well in every competition we play in,” he said.

“We have a very proud history in Africa and our goal every year is to reach the group stages of the Champions League. Although we lost some very good players at the end of last season, I’m sure these guys who have come in have their own style of play that will help the team go forward.

“My appeal is now to the fans to give these new players a chance to prove themselves and give them confidence.”

DeMbare go into Sunday’s match hot on the heels of a morale-boosting 2-1 win over rivals Highlanders in the Bob 89 Super Cup last week.

 

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