Harare Derby time again!

 

HARARE - The much-awaited Harare derby is finally here!

The two Harare giants Dynamos and CAPS United face each other this afternoon at the National Sports Stadium in what should be an exciting and thrilling clash.

However, in recent years the fixture has not really lived up to expectations with the quality of football keeping on deteriorating as compared to the yesteryear days with the exception on the 3-3 draw in 2016.

In that match, DeMbare had taken a 3-0 lead right up until the 85th minute before Makepekepe launched a memorable comeback to force a draw. 

Former Warriors forward Stewart “Shutto” Murisa, who is a rare talent on the domestic scene to have played for both CAPS and Dynamos together with Highlanders, has challenged the current set of players to bring their A game to this high profile match on the Castle Lager Premiership calendar.

“This is one of the biggest derbies in Zimbabwe and Africa,” Murisa told the Daily News on Sunday.

“As a player it’s a game that you don’t need any motivation. I remember when I used to play for either CAPS or Dynamos, the hype would start as early as Monday and you could not afford to roam the streets of the CBD psyching up yourself for the big one.

“I’m a bit disappointed the derby has lost all the ingredients and importance in recent years, the bragging rights and more so the fans are not getting the real value for their money.

“I think it’s now up to the current crop of players from both teams to stand up and be counted. I challenge both sets of players to rekindle the derby spirit.”

The game comes at contrasting times for the two Harare giants.

Dynamos are enduring a miserable start to their season after losing three of their opening six matches while managing three draws to sit second from bottom with a paltry three points.

The Glamour Boys haven’t looked particularly convincing in all these six matches and for them the Harare derby does not appear to come at a great time as coach Lloyd Mutasa continues to try and figure out his best line-up.

In last weekend’s 1-1 draw against 10-man Yadah FC at Rufaro Stadium, Mutasa decided to go with a 1-3-5-2 formation as he sought a balance between attack and defence.

The move did not really pay off as DeMbare looked suspect in defence especially when the Yadah wingers attacked with pace.

Up-front, the Glamour Boys were ponderous and only started threatening the Yadah goal after the opponents were a man down following captain Jimmy Dzingai’s red card in the second half. 

As for Makepekepe, they are yet to hit top gear but to their credit have been able to grind out results.

Lloyd Chitembwe’s side started the season with three straight draws before consecutive wins over Herentals and Black Rhinos.

However, Makepekepe’s stable start was halted last weekend when they went down 2-1 away to Triangle at Gibbo Stadium.

Despite coming into the derby from a defeat, Murisa feels the Green Machine will be more suited to get a good result today due to the experience in Chitembwe’s squad.

“I think CAPS have an edge over Dynamos now because of the experience in their ranks.

“A lot of players in their squad have been in the trenches for some time now and their experience should come in handy...,” he said.

“But having said that, you never know with these derby matches, it’s who wants it more at the end of the day.

“I just hope the players will this time rise to the occasion and entertain fans to some beautiful football.”

Today: CAPS United v Dynamos (National Sports), Highlanders v Shabanie Mine (Barbourfields), Chapungu v Herentals (Ascot)

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