By Godknows Matarutse
DYNAMOS midfielder Tawanda Muparati, dubbed the “King of the Derbies” after scoring the winner in two of the last three editions of the Harare Derby, is ready to pile on the misery on misfiring rivals CAPS United.
The two giants meet in the 70th edition of the Harare Derby at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday. The attacking midfielder was the deciding factor in two of the last three editions of the Harare Derby, scoring the late goal at the giant stadium that won the first league tie last year.
He then struck the golden goal that separated the two giants at Rufaro a few weeks ago. Those who believe in the supernatural claim that it can’t be a mere coincidence that Muparati is scoring the decisive goal, in the Harare Derby, after a defensive mix-up involving defender Douglas Walaza.
They believe there is more to that.
Last year, at the giant stadium, Walaza failed to read a flick by Rodreck Mutuma and, in the ensuing madness in defence, with ’keeper Edmore Sibanda all at sea, Muparati struck the priceless goal with virtually the last kick of the game.
A few weeks ago, there was just about 10 minutes left on the clock when Walaza, in a moment of madness, failed to clear decisively and, in the ensuing confusion, Muparati struck, taking advantage of Sibanda who had strayed off his line.
Yesterday Muparati told The Herald that the Harare Derby was a hue game and his contribution, in two of the last three games, has helped him become a favourite with the fans. And, he warned CAPS United, he was ready to strike again.
“I am expecting to score again come Sunday,” said Muparati. “Dynamos is a big team with great players and it’s not going to be my affair alone but we will play as a team and anyone in the team can do business. If we beat CAPS it will definitely give us a boost in the championship campaign as it will motivate us and everyone in the team is looking forward to pick up the three points.
“Our chances for the championship are still okay and we just need to win our matches without worrying about the other team’s business. We need to take each game as it comes and Highlanders, we can deal with them in the second leg.”
The former Douglas Warriors forward was one of the key players in DeMbare’s league and cup double winning team last year. Although his form dipped towards the end of the campaign, and he started poorly this season, he found his touch in Luanda in the Caf Confederation Cup tie against Interclube.
Muparati emerged out of the contest as the best DeMbare player, in a losing cause, and got rave reviews for his solid performance. He hasn’t looked back since. But, refreshingly, he remains a cool head and said Dynamos were facing a wounded opponent and might suffer if they take CAPS United lightly.
“CAPS might have been struggling but they remain dangerous and given the fact that it’s a derby there is no need for complacency,” said Muparati.
“In derby matches we don’t read too much into form and we want to avoid the same situation when we were held by Blue Rangers last time. Games of this magnitude motivate us and it’s up to the players to come to the party. CAPS will obviously be looking forward to come back on the big stage with a bang, but we are ready to add more misery on them,”
Dynamos’ major concern has been their poor conversion rate since they lost Takesure Chiyama to Orlando Pirates. Questions remain on Zambian forward Derrick Kabwe’s ability to lead the Dynamos line and, although he showed flashes of brilliance on Sunday, he came short when he was presented with his big chance with an open goal in front of him.
His supporters say he needs more time to adjust and this has seemingly divided even the DeMbare fans. With young Farai Mupasiri set to watch from the terraces, after picking up a wrist injury against Quelaton, Callisto Pasuwa might bring back Mutuma into the starting XI.
Mutuma has struggled this season and has lost all the confidence that made him an emerging star last year but he has a good history against CAPS United, at the National Sports Stadium, having scored twice, in a come-from-behind 2-1 win there.
Patson Jaure will also be available for selection after recovering from a groin injury while the return of skipper Desmond Maringwa gives Dynamos the experience and stability they need. Murape Murape is the big game player and, when it comes to matches against CAPS United, he holds no prisoners.
Pasuwa appears to have the more balanced team and Cliff Sekete can also be brought into the fold to provide the magic on the wings after an impressive show when he came in as a substitute against Quelaton.
There is very little doubt that Sekete has won the hearts of the Dynamos fans and they want to see him being played more in the team and, having impressed in the first Harare Derby, this could be his occasion. The Herald