Elections eclipse Battle of Zim

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
HARARE giants Dynamos have remained focused on their trip to Bulawayo for a high-profile league match against traditional rivals Highlanders despite the heavy shadow of the just ended harmonised elections that has threatened to eclipse this Premiership blockbuster fixture.

DeMbare need to reclaim the bragging rights after losing the first leg at home earlier this year. In fact, they have failed to register a win over Bosso in their previous two league meetings.

Dynamos’ last triumph was confirmed through the boardroom after violence caused a premature abandonment of their clash at Barbourfields in May 2017 with scores level at 1-1.

DeMbare are keen to turn around a season that has so far gone horribly wrong.
Team manager Richard Chihoro yesterday said the Harare giants have not lost sight of the task on their hands although the game has fallen in a week when the entire nation’s attention is more focussed on the post-election hangover.

The league matches were cancelled last week because of the polls. And Dynamos on Tuesday welcomed all their players including the mid-season signings Kingston Nkhata and Brett Amidu as they resumed preparations for the big game.

DeMbare, however, had been battling injuries in their dressing room following knocks to defenders Godfrey Mukambi, vice-captain Marshal Machazane and winger Cleopas Kapupurika.

“Generally, all the players are up for it. Morale is very high, everyone wants it and we look forward to collecting maximum points in Bulawayo.

“I am not quite sure about the injury situation, but we are glad that the bulk of the team is training. Even the new players are also training and it is up to the coach to pick which players he wants to use on Sunday,” said Chihoro.

The DeMbare technical team was boosted by the return of skipper Ocean Mushure who had missed action in the last month because of a payment dispute with his employers.
Dynamos needed the stability in their defence.

Veteran former Kaizer Chiefs man Nkhata is also expected to pep up the misfiring strike force while Amidu, who left the club two years ago in search of greener pastures at FC Platinum is back on loan to boost creativity in the midfield.

Dynamos added four players to their squad during the mid-season transfer window which closed on Tuesday with midfielder Denver Mukamba also marking his return.

However, the 25-year-old has been battling for acceptance from his coach Lloyd Mutasa who had kicked him out of the squad at the beginning of the year following a series of clashes.

Mukamba was loaned out to CAPS United, but was shipped back to his parent club barely four months into the one-year contract because of his erratic behaviour.
Mutasa said he was content with his squad.

“Every coach would envy to have a Ronaldo, a Messi or an Iniesta. Those are quality players if I may say. But it’s not every day that you get such players.

“But I would want to believe that as a professional coach you look at what you have, you look at the budget of the team, you look at how far you can go and it’s our duty as well to try and get the players available and enhance their level of performance.
“You need as much as you can to try and push them to the level that you want, but probably it takes time,” said Mutasa.

DeMbare are currently 13th on the log standings with 22 points from 20 starts. The Glamour Boys have a mission to overturn the 1-0 defeat they suffered in the reverse leg in Harare.

Their opponents Bosso have been doing fairly well under Madinda Ndlovu.
Highlanders are currently on a rebuilding exercise and are fourth on the log with 35 points from 20 games.
They have brought on board former How Mine forward Tinashe Makanda and have been working around the clock to get his documents in place ahead of the weekend game.

Saturday: Harare City v Mutare City Rovers (Rufaro), Chapungu v Bulawayo Chiefs (Ascot), Bulawayo City v FC Platinum (Barbourfields), Yadah v Herentals (NSS), ZPC Kariba v Triangle United (Nyamhunga), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Nichrut (Baobab)
Sunday: CAPS United v Black Rhinos (NSS), Highlanders v Dynamos (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Chicken Inn (Maglas).

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