By Lunga Adam
Midfielder, Tawanda Muparati, who captains Dynamos, has given South African club side Kaizer Chiefs an insight into what they can expect when they travel to the DRC to face AS Vita Club in the Caf Champions League.
The side that won the prestigious competition in 1973 will provide a stiffer test for the Amakhosi, especially in their home ground.
Orlando Pirates had first-hand experience of what playing in DRC is like when they played TP Mazembe in last year’s campaign and, in trying to emulate or do better than their rivals, Chiefs will welcome any information they can get.
AS Vita overcame Dynamos with a slender 1-0 aggregate win in the previous round, and Muparati says the South Africans can fancy their chances on the field, but that off the field it can be a challenge. The two sides meet on Sunday at 15h30.
Speaking to the Siya crew from Harare, he said, “There were no glitches when we travelled. But the weather there is too hot! It rained a day before the game, in the evening, but the sun started to come out in the second half. It can be an advantage to them.
“Their fans came out in their numbers and the terraces are near the pitch, so you can hear the noise. It’s also an artificial turf at Stade Tata Raphael Stadium. They said the hotel we stayed in was one of the better ones in their country, but it was not up to standard. The food wasn’t what we were expecting too.”
“On the field, they are a good side. We played our hearts out and were attacking them. The referees were from Malawi and they were not fair to us. The penalty they got was not supposed to be one. Chiefs should be prepared for anything, but I believe they can win,” he concluded.
Muparati was named Soccer Star of the Year in the Zimbabwean league last season, beating Silas Songani and Kudwakwashe Mahachi to the crown, and has been one of the most consistent players in the league in the last couple of seasons.
He was part of the Zimbabwe side that participated in the recent African Nations Championship in South Africa. Soccer Laduma