By Grace Chingoma
DYNAMOS skipper Ocean Mushure says they will be out to heal the wounds from their last battle against bitter rivals CAPS United when the giants clash in a ZNA Army Charities semi-final showdown at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.The Glamour Boys were left cursing their defensive woes as the Green Machine roared back from 0-3 down in the final five minutes to force a 3-3 draw in the Harare Derby at the same venue a few months ago.
Makepekepe used confidence gained from that sensational comeback to fight their way to their first league title in 11 years while DeMbare completed one of the worst seasons.
The Green Machine had also ended a seven-year wait for a league victory over DeMbare in the reverse league fixture last year with Dominic Chungwa scoring the winner at Rufaro.
The CAPS United/Dynamos showdown is one of the two big matches on Sunday with Highlanders hosting FC Platinum in another semi-final at Barbourfields.
Mushure, who addressed the media at a Press conference organised by Zimbabwe National Army and attended by high-ranking army officials, said it was about time they established their superiority over Makepekepe.
“Last year we never beat CAPS United and I am grateful to the sponsors for organising such a match. The battle lines have been drawn,” said Mushure.
“Whenever Dynamos and CAPS United square up it is always fireworks, no-one wants to lose such a match.
“We have been working as a team and we are ready to display to our fans what we have been doing during this pre-season.”
The Glamour Boys were in Mozambique over the weekend for a friendly match against Chingale Tete and won 2-0.
The weekend’s match is likely to attract a big crowd with supporters expected to watch the new-look team which Mutasa is assembling while the Green Machine are in party mood after progressing to the next round of the CAF Champions League.
The presence of Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo, a former Dynamos talisman, in the CAPS United ranks, is likely to spike interest in the showdown.
Chitiyo produced a man-of-the-match show on Sunday and has, overnight, become the darling of the Green Machine fans.
“I can assure our fans that a good team is being assembled and on Sunday the fans will have the first glimpse of their team,” said Mushure.
The DeMbare skipper was linked with a move to CAPS United during the transfer move before the deal fell through at the last-minute.
The defender said he never wanted to join Makepekepe, but it was the Green Machine who were interested.
CAPS United assistant coach Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi was in bullish mood yesterday.
“It is a very important game, it is a big game for us. There are no friendly matches whenever we play Dynamos.
“It is always war, so I know Sunday’s game would be war, no-holds barred action. And they want to kill us we want to kill them as well.
“We respect them, they are a big institution, we are a big institution so it is like Goliath versus Goliath,” he said.
The gaffer said they are trying to improve their performance.
“We are really humbled as champions of Zimbabwe, we are still learning and trying to improve. We are still work in progress,” Kwashi.
CAPS United skipper Moses Muchenje also chipped in saying it is was a high-stakes game.
Muchenje was dropped from the team that faced Lioli by coach Lloyd Chitembwe who felt the skipper failed to take charge of his men when some of them decided not to turn up for camp ahead of the match against the Lesotho side.
Those players said they wanted to be paid the money that was used for camp instead.
“It is not going to be an easy game. But we are ready for them,” said Muchenje.
“Any encounter between us and Dynamos is war and as Ocean said, both teams are always geared to do well,” he said.
ZNA Chief of Staff and Administration, Douglas Nyikayaramba, said this year’s sponsorship package was $60 000 as they seek to raise $100 000 for charitable organisations which are run by the army.
“This is an invitational tournament, we do so based on the sponsorship that has been made available to us by our well-wishers.
“So, according to the sponsorship of $60 000, we felt it was not wise to have more teams. We are going to have four teams, two playing in Harare and two in Bulawayo,” he said.
The winners will pocket $12 000 while the runners-up will receive $8 000.
Nyikayaramba said the venue of the final depends on the outcome of the semis.