DeMbare unleash Ntouba

HARARE - Dynamos are ready to unleash their leading striker Christian Ntouba on Harare City this afternoon at the National Sports Stadium after the Cameroonian finished serving his two-match ban for a red card.

Ntouba, who is the Castle Lager Premiership top goal scorer with 12 strikes, was sent off after head-butting Highlanders defender Peter Muduhwa in a tension-filled match at Rufaro Stadium last month.

A lot of controversy followed that match after the Zifa referees committee announced they had revoked the red card 24 hours later but the Premier Soccer League stood its ground.

In the end, Ntouba missed the Glamour Boys’ last two matches against CAPS United and Shabanie Mine serving his ban.

Without their leading scorer, DeMbare struggled to maintain their momentum as they lost 1-0 to Makepekepe before last Thursday’s 1-1 draw away to Shabanie at Maglas Stadium.

DeMbare coach Lloyd Mutasa is pleased that the Cameroonian’s ban is over and he can return to fire the Harare giants’ quest for their 22nd league title.

“Of course Christian is our regular scorer and it’s good to have him back in the team,” Mutasa told the Daily News on Sunday.

“We welcome him back and it’s clear for everyone to see that he is the focal point of our attack.

“We just hope he can continue with the scoring form he had before the suspension.”

After dropping points in their last two matches, Mutasa is fully aware that his side needs to return to winning ways against the relegation-threatened Sunshine Boys this afternoon.   

“I think the message from the institution to the players is that we must maintain the position we are in at the moment,” he said.

“In order to do that, we need to get a positive result against Harare City. If you look at the game in Zvishavane, it was a totally different one from the last two-three matches we have played.

“You could see that the desire and the hunger for victory was there in the players, it’s just unfortunate that we could not win after conceding an equaliser with about four minutes to go.”

The DeMbare gaffer believes that with a bit of luck they could have emerged with all three points from Maglas but were denied by poor officiating.

“Not taking anything away from Shabanie but I think our youngsters did everything to win; we had two clear penalty shouts that did not go our way,” Mutasa said.

“In another instance, our striker Tawanda Macheke was bundled down while he was clear on goal; it was supposed to be a straight red card for a professional foul by the Shabanie defender but the referee thought otherwise.

“We, however, did well under such circumstances to come out with a point.”

Meanwhile, Harare City coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube believes that his team will be the underdogs despite facing a stuttering DeMbare side.

“They are wounded and we are definitely coming into this game as underdogs. 

“I know, to many we have lost to Dynamos before we even kicked a ball but we can only believe we have lost to Dynamos after 90 minutes,” Ncube said.

“It’s going to be a tricky game because they are a title-chasing side and will be eager to pick up maximum points but they must not treat us lightly.

“We are taking each game as it comes and our hope is to pick up as many points as we can in the remaining matches.”

Today

Hwange v Bulawayo City (Colliery), Chapungu v ZPC Kariba (Ascot), Triangle v Yadah FC (Gibbo), Dynamos v Harare City (NSS), Chicken Inn v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Bantu Rovers v Shabanie Mine (Luveve).

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