Yellow cards weaken DeMbare ahead of Mono tie
By Eddie Chikamhi
Dynamos star midfielder Denver Mukamba is one of the six players hit by suspensions this week and will miss the Glamour Boys’ Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Monomotapa at Rufaro on Sunday after picking up three yellow cards in recent matches.
DeMbare’s bitter rivals CAPS United have also been forced into making a late switch of venue and date of their pick-of-the-crop derby clash against champions Motor Action which has been moved from the National Sports Stadium to Gwanzura.
The CAPS against Mighty Bulls encounter will also now be played on Sunday instead of Saturday. Resurgent Dynamos are aiming for maximum points in a match that holds much in terms of their fortunes in the Premiership race as they are third on the log standings with 42 points, one behind leaders Motor Action and FC Platinum.
But they will be without their talented midfielder who was cautioned in the matches against Black Mambas, Shooting Stars and Zimbabwe Saints. Despite being gifted with some sublime skills, Mukamba’s biggest undoing has been his lack of discipline.
Only on Tuesday, the 19-year-old midfielder revealed that he had provoked the CAPS United fans with a finger gesture during the two teams’ Mbada Diamonds Cup first round derby clash at the National Sports Stadium.
Mukamba is still set to face Premiership sanctions for his madness which drew the ire of the CAPS Fans who reacted by pelting him and teammate Roderick Mutuma with missiles. To his credit Mukamba issued a public apology to the CAPS United fans and the football family for his behaviour.
But on Sunday, he will have to sit out of the Monoz game for offences he committed in three previous league matches. Dynamos however appear to be in high spirits following a good run of five wins, including the 1-0 victory over old rivals CAPS United in the Mbada Diamonds Cup first round last week.
Callisto Pasuwa’s men are thus not likely to be hugely affected by Mukamba’s suspension given the depth in the Dynamos reserves where they could even afford to have another talented midfielder like Archieford Gutu starting on bench against CAPS United.
Apart from seeking a win over Monoz, Dynamos will also be looking to bitter rivals CAPS United and newboys Blue Ribbon to do them huge favours in the title race
CAPS United host champions Motor Action in a match that has been switched from the National Sports Stadium to Gwanzura on Sunday as football has been forced to make way for a church convention that begins at the giant venue today. CAPS United play their home games at the giant stadium but they were advised by PSL yesterday that the venue had been booked for the church convention to be held throughout the weekend.
The Green Machine chief executive Maxwell Mironga, clearly not amused by the developments, yesterday said they also shifted the game from Saturday to Sunday since they had no alternatives, as other grounds will also be occupied. Blue Ribbon will take on ambitious moneybags FC Platinum at Rufaro while Shooting Stars and Hwange will be at Gwanzura on Saturday.
“We had a talk with the authorities and it appears they may already have made their bookings well in advance. So we are moving to Gwanzura for this game. In future I think we would need to sit down and have to know in advance so that we do not encounter such unexpected changes, which may inconvenience football fans. But we are just urging CAPS United supporters to strongly rally behind the team because success can only come with their continued backing,” said Mironga.
Resurgent former champions Gunners will have to do without Mbada Diamonds Cup first round double scorer Lloyd Masakusi and Edmond Muzvidziwa when they host Masvingo United at Lafarge. The duo are also serving a one match suspension for accumulating three yellow cards each in previous games.
Ironically Gunners were 2-0 victors over Masvingo in last weekend’s cup game and they meet again in the league campaign just days after the clash in Kariba. Blue Ribbon’s Takesure Chiragwi and Gilbert Majoni of Chicken Inn are the other players who will miss this weekend’s games due to suspension. CAPS United defensive midfielder Edmore Chafungamoyo has also been affected by the suspensions and will not take part in the match against treble-chasing Motor Action.
Chafungamoyo was cautioned in both games against FC Platinum and had another yellow from the match against Masvingo United back in June. In Motor Action, CAPS face one of their biggest hurdles since the arrival of Lloyd Chitembwe just over a month ago. The former Warriors and CAPS United linkman has a big task to steer the Green Machine ship back to safety after the club had plunged into the bottom half of the table during the mid-season.
So far Chitembwe has met with considerable success after notching up two wins over Kiglon and Highlanders and a draw away to FC Platinum in their last league match. CAPS have lost once to Hwange in the four games since Chitembwe’s return.
Makepekepe are currently in eighth position on the log standings with 29 points and they hope to put behind them the disappointment of losing to bitter rivals Dynamos in the first round of the Mbada Diamonds Cup last Sunday. CAPS lost the first leg to Motor Action 2-0 through goals from Gift Phiri and Kuda Musharu and will be out to stop the Bulls from remaining in contention for a possible league and cup treble.
Motor Action coach Joey Antipas said yesterday the champions were bracing for the CAPS United challenge and have a full squad at their disposal.
Saturday: Blue Ribbon v FC Platinum (Rufaro), Black Mambas v Highlanders (Morris Depot), Gunners v Masvingo (Lafarge), Shooting Stars v Hwange (Gwanzura)
Sunday: CAPS United v Motor Action (Gwanzura), Zimbabwe Saints v Chicken Inn (White City), Dynamos v Monomotapa (Rufaro), Shabanie Mine v Kiglon (Maglas)
Players on suspension
Edmore Chafungamoyo (CAPS United), Denver Mukamba (Dynamos), Lloyd Masakusi, Edmond Muzvidziwa (Gunners), Gilbert Majoni (Chicken Inn), Takesure Chiragwi (Blue Ribbon).