Premiership returnees Mutare City Rovers yesterday gave giants Dynamos a reality check when they came from behind to dismiss the Glamour Boys 2-1 in their last friendly game ahead of the kick-off of the new season.
DeMbare, who have played two high-profile games against CAPS United and Highlanders in the ZNA Charities and conquered during the pre-season, were left with some homework to do after their former player Takunda Sadiki and David Mangesi scored either side of the half to cancel out Valentine Kadonzvo’s 20th minute strike.
The Harare giants will open their campaign away to Chicken Inn this weekend.
Mutare City Rovers will also be on the road to newboys Nichrut.
Before yesterday’s kickoff, Dynamos assistant coach Biggy Zuze was upbeat about the ground his team has covered and sounded ready for the new season.
“We are now trying to mix our players, which is the youngsters and the senior guys. It’s coming up well and we hope for the best. We are also happy the fixtures are out.
“We know the teams that we are starting with and know how big the matches are. Also I think we are coming from where we have played two big games against CAPS United and Highlanders and we are happy with the way these youngsters have handled these two matches and we have just seen positive things.
“I think the youngsters are geared for the matches and the messages we are spreading to them is that this season we want to surpass what we did last season and we are happy it seems we are moving in the right direction with everyone and we hope for the best.
“We are urging all our supporters everywhere to come and support the team. We just hope for the best this season,” said Zuze.
Dynamos lined up their probable XI for this season with goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga talking his place between the posts while Blessing Moyo, Romario Matova, Jimmy Tigere and Marshal Machazane formed the rear guard.
Newboys James Marufu and Marvelous Mukumba were thrust in the middle to shield Cleopas Kapupurika, Kudzanayi Dhemere and Kadonzvo.
Quality Kangadze led the search for the goals in the absence of Cameroonian Joel Epoupa.
Zuze revealed DeMbare are looking for a striker to beef up their attack.
“We have the final list. For the senior guys I think we have registered 24. We still have one slot where we are still assessing some of the players who are here.
“We are looking for an outright striker, that’s why we are keeping that slot. For the juniors, we have got two slots. We still have three or four juniors whom we are training with and I think by the end of next week we will be having done with the three slots,” said Zuze.
Mutare City Rovers coach Joseph “Shabba” Takaringofa said his side will not be flattered by the result against DeMbare.
“It’s quite encouraging, if they can keep the fighting spirit they have demonstrated through to the end of the season.
“This win is definitely going to give confidence to our players going into the new season. It shows that, the way we are doing things, we are somehow doing them right as a team.
“But we are not looking much at the result. We were looking at combinations, how the players are gelling and the progress we have made as a team since we started training for the new season.
“Otherwise, Dynamos are a very good team. You can tell by their movement and the way they pass the ball around that a lot of work has been done. But I am happy my players were not overcalled by that,” said Takaringofa.
Mutare will play their home games at the National Sports Stadium since their Sakubva home was condemned.
Takaringofa said the game against DeMbare was a good rehearsal for his team.
“Apart from missing home advantage, as technical team I think we don’t have a very big problem playing at the National Sports Stadium because our type of play suits that stadium. We hope to get good results there.
“Probably the biggest challenge will be faced by the executive in that the team will need to travel week in and week out. There will be need for camping and other logistics, which is quite taxing and draining to the coffers.
“And also there is danger fatigue would creep in if we are always on the road for matches. So we are hoping and praying that the stadium will be ready in no time,” said Takaringofa.
Mutare City are not short of Premiership experience and apart from Sadiki yesterday the side also paraded former Dynamos and CAPS United striker Washington Pakamisa, ex-Buffaloes man Jeffrey Takunda, defender Themba Ndlovu and former FC Platinum Junior Player of the Year 2015 Kelvin Bingala. The Herald