By Charles Mabika
The Harare Derby is upon us once again!
The big question on every fan’s lips is: Will the two giants be able to deliver the same pound-for-pound crescendo of booming attacks from one end of the field to another as both armies cast aside previous, cautious approaches and ventured forward to ignite the adrenalin flow of the 20 000-plus crowd at the National Sports Stadium last Sunday.
I was one of those who had now been accustomed to monotonous exchanges between the blue and green armies’ playing troops for almost a decade.
But, oh my word, the two sides really came to the party last weekend!
Both goals – scored by Dynamos’ ageless skipper, Murape “Monya For Hire” Murape and Caps United’s pencil-slim forward, Gerald Phiri – were from a sublime bag of valuables.
In fact, to pick one player who really stood head and shoulders above the rest in that encounter would be scandalous!
There was also another aspect of admirable achievement which certainly eluded a lot of fans at the stadium.
I was really impressed by the hospitable and workman-like and receptive gestures shown by Dynamos’ secretary-general, Webster Chikengezha and Caps United’s public relations manager, Joyce Kapota.
Both officials were courteous as they attended to rival fans’ arrivals and led them to their proper sitting positions.
Now, this is what healthy rivalry should be all about. And I hope both sets of supporters will take a cue from Chikengezha’s and Kapota’s exemplary connoisseur activities to ensure that today’s game will be concluded in total fair play and competitive ingenuity.
Even South African league champions, Mamelodi Sundowns’ head coach, Pitso Mosimane, who was leading his entourage (that included Warriors’ legend, Peter Ndlovu, who is part of Mosimane’s technical staff) was delighted by Chikengezha’s and Kapota’s reception of his squad.
“The Brazilians”, who were in the country as part of their three-match practice tour, were part of the big crowd at last week’s match.
Following my instalment on the history of the Harare Derby, I’ve been getting a lot of requests from both DeMbare and Makepekepe fans to list the goalkeepers who have been involved in the famous sides’ clashes since that day back in March 1977 when Dynamos triumphed 3-2 at Rufaro.
Some of the fans have “accused” me of “favouring” the in-field players and forgetting about the men who guarded the goal posts for the two rival sides! Did you hear that?
Well, for everybody out there, here are the ’keepers who have featured in the most famous Harare Derby of all time:
Caps United: Tito Alves, Carlos Simoes, Steven Chisango, Duncan Ellison, Tom Zhuwawo (late), Brenna Msiska, Archibald Mudavanhu, George Mudiwa, Abdul Karim-Abdul, Witness Munkuli, Energy Murambadoro, Muzondiwa Gonese, Edmore Sibanda, Itai Chiwara, Joram Muchambo.
Dynamos: George Usayi, Athuman Mambosasa (who hailed from Tanzania), Frank M’kanga (late), Japhet M’parutsa, Leo Ntawatawa, Laban Kandi, Lucky Dube (late), Tichaona Diya, Peter Fanwell, Obey Murefu, Willard Manyatera, Washington Arubi, George Chigova, Artwell Mukandi.
The following ’keepers starred for both sides in the explosive era: Matthew Mwale (late), George Mandizvidza (late), Ernest Chirambadare and Tafadzwa Dube.
On a sad note, please spare a thought for two stalwarts of this Derby – Caps United’s Edmore “ZiKeeper” Sibanda and Dynamos’ Guthrie “Tollgate” Zhokinyi – who mysteriously continue to be denied by Zifa (following the apparent closure of the “Asiagate” saga) the chance to rekindle their romance with this beloved, perpetual gladiator rivalry.
Bring on the One Wallet Cup’s Harare Derby!
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The Castle Lager Premiership reached its halfway stage last week and like I did when I came up with my “Castle Soccer Stars” for the first quarter, here are my top 11 for the second quarter:
Ariel Sibanda, Charles Sibanda (Highlanders); Joram Muchambo, Hardlife Zvirekwi (Caps United); Nesbert Padzarondora (Black Rhinos); Qadr Amini (FC Platinum); Ocean Mushure (Dynamos); Daniel Chakupe (Shabanie Mine); Pride Tafirenyika (ZPC Kariba); Clemence Matawu (Chicken Inn); Richard Kawondera (Triangle United).
When we get to the three-quarter mark, I will nominate my choices once again.
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SO Fifa decided that Lionel Messi was the 2014 World Cup’s Player of the Tournament?
Well, like his former coach, Diego Maradona, I certainly don’t agree! Like Maradona added: “It was purely a marketing plan.”
Those who support Fifa’s decision say the little wizard definitely carried his Argentina side by himself and was let down by his team mates.
Utter balderdash, I say!
If he was so superb, he should have carried them to win the World Cup!
Remember to take care of your loved ones and each other.
It’s bye-bye for now.
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