By Makomborero Mutimukulu
The team of seven million souls could only attract 700 paying fans when it decided to host a commemoration match for the nine who died in the line of duty on June 11 last year.
Consequently the match against Yadah Stars, which was supposed to raise money for the families of a group that has now become known as the DeMbare Nine, was a loss making venture.
Instead of some greenbacks the families received flowers and Dynamos flags to commemorate the passing away of their beloved ones as the mission to follow their team to Ascot Stadium turned tragic.
For Garikai Chibika, who lost his sister Patience in the accident that claimed seven lives on the spot, the gesture by DeMbare was priceless.
“Sometimes it’s not about the money but the thought that counts.
I know that wherever she is Patience is smiling because Dynamos is remembering her together with eight other fans who died as they followed their beloved team to Gweru,” he said.
And as fate, or the Premier Soccer League fixtures, would have it DeMbare are on the road to Chapungu, exactly a week after June 11.
It’s a game that suddenly means much more than three points to Dynamos.
“This is a very important match; it is a game that reminds us a lot about those nine supporters. We would want to try and appease them with a positive result.
“But as you know, every team that plays Dynamos raises its game and here is a Chapungu side that has not conceded in seven games so we are bracing ourselves for a tough encounter,” said DeMbare coach Lloyd Mutasa.
Mutasa watched his team stage a Thursday night humdinger against Ngezi Platinum Stars 3-2 at the National Sports Stadium and will be hoping that his boys kick on at Ascot.
“Our attacking prowess will be tested against an organised defence but we go to Gweru with a positive attitude after a good run,” noted the Dynamos coach.
DeMbare have won four on the bounce and edged this fixture 2-1 last term with King Nasama scoring the winner.
Nasama will not feature at Ascot as he battles injury while the Glamour Boys’ pin up boy Denver Mukamba could be relegated to the bench after fizzling out against Ngezi in midweek.
Mukamba scored a beauty in that game but that was his only meaningful contribution and Mutasa concedes that the forward is lacking match fitness.
“With Denver it’s a journey he is doing well in the early stages of the game but as the match progresses his contribution becomes minimal and we are working on making him a 90-minute player.
“Denver has been scoring, he scored a good goal against Ngezi and the players look up to him but we need to have him throughout the game.
“However, one thing we are guaranteed with the boy is big match temperament so we can always call on him. His behaviour has also improved and we are confident that we will get the best of him soon,” said Mutasa.
Chapungu are enjoying a seven match unbeaten run and have been unyielding at the back.
Gaffer Tendai Chikuni revealed that a 0-4 mauling away to champions Caps United on April 29 this year made him do an Antonio Conte.
Conte, the coach of English Premiership kings Chelsea, famously switched to 3-5-2 after a 0-3 humbling at Arsenal. “After the defeat to Caps United I sat down and said ‘no we cannot continue to be this generous in our defending and expect to survive in the premiership,’’ said Chikuni. “I changed the system and insisted on not giving the opposition too much space at the back and it has been working well.
“But for Dynamos we have a different game plan, to us this is a cup final. As coaches we have done our part and it’s up to the boys to show how much they want this one.” The Sunday Mail