Murape hails new signings

HARARE - Veteran Dynamos midfielder Murape Murape has hailed DeMbare’s new signings after producing a flawless display Sunday to hand rivals Highlanders one of the biggest defeats in the two clubs’ long-standing rivalry.

Murape welcomed the new additions, particularly strikers Patrick Khumbula and Francisco Zekumbawira, and predicted the two will go on to become the leaders of the next generation at the Glamour Boys.

The 33-year-old, who was handed the armband ahead of Tawanda Muparati at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday, led by example as he fought for every ball in the midfield.

After having won the first leg 1-2 in Bulawayo, Dynamos were in a no-nonsense mood as they raced to a comfortable 4-0 win with goals from double-scorer Patrick Khumbula, defender Partson Jaure and Simon Munawa’s own goal.

The emphatic win at the weekend, coming hard-on-the-heels of last weekend’s 3-0 defeat of Lesotho Correctional Services in the African Champions League, has once again served as a strong warning to Dynamos’ rivals that despite losing key players during the off-season, the reigning champions are not looking any weaker than the last two seasons in which they won a league and cup double.

Striker Khumbula, who is returning following loan spells at Gunners and Hippo Valley, netted the brace while Zekumbawira, on loan from Hwange, was also impressive but did not score.  

“We are not looking back. We want to win everything and everyone in the team is hunger for success. I think we have sent the message loud and clear that we mean serious business,” Murape said.

DeMbare – who are beginning a new era following the departure of talismanic playmaker Denver Mukamba and the chief striking pair of Roderick Mutuma and Simba Sithole for South African clubs in the off season – ruthlessly destroyed the Bulawayo giants to extend their seven-year unbeaten run over their great rivals.  

“A lot of people have been talking about the departure of our strikers, Roderick Mutuma and Simba Sithole, but you have seen it for yourself today,” Murape said.

“The new guys who have come are doing well. We are still gelling but one good thing is that the understanding is already there. After today’s performance one cannot even notice there were new guys in the team.

“Dynamos is a big club and when players come to join the team, they know what is needed and I am happy the new guys have settled well into the system. As senior players we will keep on encouraging the guys.”

DeMbare and Bosso fought an intriguing battle for the Premiership title last year that only needed goal difference to separate them on the last day of the season after both sides ended tied on 69 points.

The country’s two oldest clubs drew both their league meetings last season and their match on Sunday was expected to set the tone for the upcoming 2013 season, but the Glamour Boys were quick to remind their rivals that they intend to dominate again.

While Khumbula scored, long-time target Zekumbiwira justified the hype that surrounded his switch from Hwange with some deft touches and clever off the ball runs.

Washington Pakamisa, who crossed the Great Divide after joining Dynamos from city rivals CAPS United, was introduced as a second half substitute and with a bit of lucky, he could have found the back of the net.

With such key players as Ocean Mushure, Cliff Sekete, Boban Zirintusa and Farai Mupasiri all sidelined on Sunday, the 4-0 win spoke volumes of Dynamos’ depth in reserves. - Godknows Mataruse

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