By Eddie Chikamhi
Dynamos could be down and out, with nothing much to play for in the championship race, but their team manager Richard Chihoro has warned rivals CAPS United that they may not have it easy when the two giants clash in the Harare Derby at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Makepekepe are enjoying good space in the marathon especially after opening a two-point gap at the top of the table last weekend. And interestingly on their side, this Derby comes when long-time rivals Dynamos are going probably through one of their worst seasons in a decade. The Green Machine hold the aces and they will be looking to complete a double over their adversaries after winning the first leg 1-0 at Rufaro back in May.
The Glamour Boys, who were league champions between 2011 and 2014, have struggled for most part of the season and are set to complete another year without silverware.
However, their manager Chihoro yesterday said CAPS United should not underrate them. Chihoro said DeMbare would be professional and will play for their pride. “We are coming to play football. We lost the first leg and obviously we want to revenge. We will be as professional as possible. If anything, CAPS United should not expect any favour.
“They are chasing the title and they have to win for themselves. If they beat us fair and fine, but remember this is a derby and traditionally these matches are highly contested by both teams.
“No one wants to lose this game, even our supporters are looking forward to a win. So we don’t want to disappoint them. “We have said that since we are no longer able to fight for the championship, we need to finish on a respectable position on the log standings. A top four finish will do. So we have to win matches to realise that,” said Chihoro.
DeMbare are currently fifth on the log standings with 39 points. They are a massive 14 points behind Makepekepe who lead the race on 53 points, with just four games remaining in the season. But when Dynamos needed the inspiration to finish the season strongly, they somehow could not to find a winning formula in their last two games.
The 0-2 defeat at FC Platinum and 1-1 home draw against Hwange were probably not the kind of results they had hoped for going into the big game against in-form CAPS United. Dynamos welcomed back goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva who was rested last week to recover from a knee injury. The technical team is also likely to call in most of the first team players who were rested for the last game against Hwange.
There is an air of excitement in the Makepekepe camp. The Green Machine have shown great potential this season under Lloyd Chitembwe. CAPS United have an extra incentive in that they come into the match with the confidence especially from the realisation that they managed to beat their opponents in the first leg and end a seven-year jinx.
Dominic Chungwa scored the only goal of the match some five months ago.However, Makepekepe’s preparations suffered a huge setback after they were told their top marksman and league’s top goalscorer Leonard Tsipa is suspended. Tsipa is the Premiership’s top scorer with 10 goals and Bamusi’s importance cannot be understated as he has had many assists this season.
“We never had a full squad this season and we have been missing players through suspension and injuries. So it is not something new, we are mature enough to handle these kind of situations as have always been the case so we should survive,” Chitembwe said. Meanwhile, CAPS United have increased gate charges for the derby. The cheapest ticket for the rest of the ground will cost $5, VIP $10 and VVIP $15. The Herald