DeMbare sweat over Mukandi

HARARE - Dynamos first choice goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi remains a concern and is a huge doubt for Sunday’s One Wallet Cup final against Triangle at the National Sports Stadium.

Mukandi sustained a hip injury during DeMbare’s 1-0 win over Shabanie Mine after the former Monomotapa shot stopper landed awkwardly in an attempt to save a Godknows Murwira cross.

The agile goalkeeper, who made a smooth transition since taking over from George Chigova, had to finish the match limping and has not trained with the team this week.

DeMbare’s goalkeeper’s coach Tichaona Diya, who together with assistant coach Philemon Mutyakureva took charge of the team in the absence of head coach Calisto Pasuwa, said Mukandi will have to undergo late fitness test.

“Artwell (Mukandi) did not train today (yesterday) and he will go under a fitness test tomorrow and he has not been training for the whole week,” Diya said after the team’s training session t the match venue yesterday.

In the event that Mukandi fails to recover in time for Sunday’s match, Pasuwa would have to choose between the rookie pair of Tatenda Mukuruva and Devine Moya.

Mukuruva was on the bench in the Young Warriors’ 1-0 defeat to Botswana in a friendly match earlier this week. Diya has however backed Mukuruva to do well if he starts on Sunday.   

“We hope that he will recover in the time for Sunday’s match,” he said. “We don’t have a problem throwing Tatenda in the deep end.

“He is one of the players waiting for his time to play and we see no problem. If Artwell fails to recover in time for the game I think we have enough cover for that position. Tatenda is ready.”

DeMbare are also monitoring the situation of striker Simba Sithole, who suffered a hamstring injury last month in the match against FC Platinum. 

The Glamour Boys who are sitting at the top of the Castle Premiership table have however, been boosted by the return of midfield enforcer Stephen Alimenda and long-term absentee Masimba Mambare.

Alimenda missed the last match against Shabanie with a minor knock while Mambare’s season was plagued by a knee injury suffered in March during the Bob 90 Super Cup.

Since then, the former Highlanders and Motor Action midfielder, who was DeMbare’s marquee signing at the start of the season, has not made an appearance for the Glamour Boys.

Meanwhile, Dynamos striker Roderick Mutuma is bullish that the Harare giants will be too stong for Triangle on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a tough game. This is a cup final and we need to win it at all costs. Every team that plays Dynamos always wants to beat us but we are ready for them,” said Mutuma.

“But the good thing is that the morale is high in the team and we are fired up for this match. We are in great form and no one will stop us. We will take over from where we left last time.”

A lot is riding on Sunday’s match for Triangle as their coach Biggie Zuze needs a positive result to convince the Tongaat Hulett hierarchy that he is the right man for the job.

The sugar cane growers are currently just one place off the last relegation slot and are in danger of going down at the end of the season.

Zuze hopes that a cup final victory over Dynamos will give his side the much needed confidence boost for the survival fight.

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