DeMbare seek double over CAPS

HARARE - The last time Dynamos recorded a league double over bitter rivals CAPS United was in 2013 when Kalisto Pasuwa led the Glamour Boys to back-to-back 1-0 victories and now they have another chance to repeat the same feat. 

After coming out on top in an end-to-end tussle at the National Sports Stadium last month, DeMbare can reinforce their title ambitions with another win over the reigning champions at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon.

It would also be an indication of the direction in which the club is heading under former midfielder Lloyd Mutasa, who has begun to win around sceptical supporters after replacing the enormously unpopular Portuguese coach Paulo Silva last season.

That would be a remarkable achievement in itself given how Mutasa has revitalised the Glamour Boys, who are now touted as serious title contenders sitting third on the log table with 49 points, two behind joint log leaders Chicken Inn and FC Platinum who are both on 51 points.

Dynamos are certainly arriving with their confidence high after a fantastic run that saw them register six wins and a draw in their previous seven matches and their skipper Ocean Mushure, one of the standout players for Mutasa’s charges, is hopeful of another victory.

“This is a completely new game and has nothing to do with the previous derby that we played last month,” Mushure told the Daily News.

“I think our previous match against CAPS United can only give us more confidence going into this one. We are eager to beat them again this time around but it will be down to hard work. It’s not going to be an easy match for us because they will also be desperate for revenge.

“We have been preparing everyday for the match and I think everyone is motivated ahead of the match. We just need to avoid complacency at all costs because in football anything can happen. But I am confident we can complete a double over CAPS.”

The Glamour Boys will be without their dependable pair of defender Lincoln Zvasiya and midfielder Tichaona Chipunza who are suspended for accumulating three yellow cards.

But there was even good news for the Dynamos faithfuls after vice-captain Obey Mwerahari and defender Marshal Machazane recovered in time for Sunday’s match. And judging by the team’s preparations, Mutasa is likely to partner the two at the heart of defence.

It is also still not clear whether Mutasa will have enough guts to field in-form striker Christian Epoupa Ntouba who has dominated the headlines ahead of the derby after being shown a red card last weekend against Highlanders.

In a brain explosion moment, the Cameroonian striker was red-carded in the tension-filled 1-1 draw against Highlanders at Rufaro Stadium last weekend for head-butting Bosso defender Peter Mudhuwa three minutes before full time.

However, the Zifa referees’ committee — chaired by the association’s president Philip Chiyangwa — rescinded the league’s current top scorer’s sending-off the following day after Dynamos had lodged an appeal to trigger a widespread outrage from football followers.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) was not happy with how the issue was handled and blamed DeMbare for taking the wrong route by appealing directly to Zifa instead of following the proper channel of going through the league’s secretariat and insists the striker remains suspended.

Mushure is, however, not moved by the drama.

“We are not worried by who plays and who will not play. We thrive on team-work and whoever is going to be given the nod on Sunday will give his best. There are no distractions whatsoever and it’s business as usual,” said Mushure.

CAPS United assistant coach Tostao Kwashi is confident of turning the tables this time around.

“The boys are upbeat, morale is high, everyone is giving their best and we hope they will translate it into Sunday’s game which is going to be another tough battle again,” Kwashi said.

“But we are looking forward to the battle. We have done our homework. We take pride in ourselves that we are the champions and we are coming into this one highly motivated. We have faced tough encounters this year in the champions league and there is no difference with this one.

“Dynamos have high magnitude of fans and it’s a derby. Derby matches are usually explosive so we are ready for the game. We know Dynamos are a well organised team and they have been doing well and we respect them for that.

“We are raring to go and we can’t wait for the match. We just want to showcase our skills. We want to prove that we are one of the best teams in Africa. We love these types of matches and challenges, they motivate us.”

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