A low-key Harare Derby away from home

The Herald

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

DYNAMOS coach, Tonderayi Ndiraya, says the Glamour Boys are already planning for the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals.

They are set to meet struggling rivals, CAPS United, in a penultimate Group One match at Baobab, tomorrow.

It’s a low-key Harare Derby, coming as it does, with the country still mourning the Warriors’ elimination, from the 2022 World Cup finals.

The national team’s limp performance, in their 0-1 defeat to Ghana, at the National Sports Stadium on Tuesday, left the entire domestic football family deflated.

And, as if to show how much things have changed, the two biggest clubs in the capital, have to clash outside the capital.

DeMbare, who have secured their place in the last eight of the tournament, are still looking to finish on a high note, after going eight games unbeaten.

Makepekepe have had a forgettable outing and come into the Derby with just one win in eight games.

Ndiraya said he was already looking beyond tomorrow’s Harare Derby.

He has been rotating his players, since they secured, their quarter-final slot.

The coach had the luxury to make half-a-dozen changes, in the last game, against ZPC Kariba.

They still won comfortably, with goals from the impressive Bill Antonio, and Juan Mutudza.

“Of course, we have qualified to the next stage of the tournament but we are taking the game seriously,’’ he said.

“We are going to play a derby, and you know the nature of derbies.

“There are bragging rights at stake and we are going to play for our pride.

“In fact, we have started preparing for the quarter-finals, and we are using this match to prepare for that.

“It is that mentality, which we are getting into this game with, so, it’s not just another game for us, but a very serious one.”

DeMbare have been boosted by the recovery of fullback Tinotenda Muringani, who had missed the bigger part of the campaign, through injury.

Winger Jarrison Selemani is also expected to return while defender Frank Makarati and Takunda Mawarire are still down.

“We believe in all the players in our squad and every one of them has an equal chance of playing in this match.

“I think you also understand that all the players want to play in derbies, so we are actually facing a selection headache, considering we have been rotating our players, and all of them have been doing quite well.

“So, it’s a positive headache for us but we are confident we are going to come up with a very strong team to face CAPS United.

“We want to carry on with the momentum and, hopefully, we will get a good result on Sunday,” said Ndiraya.

Unlike Ndiraya, who is enjoying good results and fine backing of club sponsors Sakunda Holdings, CAPS United coach Darlington Dodo, is leading a side whose morale has hit rock bottom.

Makepekepe were left staring exit, after they managed only one point from the two games they played, after resumption.

Their situation was made worse by the industrial action, which rocked their camp this week, as players pressed for an upward review, of their earnings.

“This is a derby ahead of us and there is a lot of expectation,” said Dodo.

“Our fans need something to cheer them up and for us to achieve that we would need to put behind us all the problems that we may have encountered.

“We need a good performance to atone for the disappointments.

“But, again, losing two to three days of preparations did not help. No matter how much you try in football, it’s always difficult to compensate for the lost time.

“So, we have been working on the psychological aspect, which we believe is key. The players need to understand the importance of playing in a derby.”

The Green Machine are still reeling from injuries in their camp.

Key players — Ronald Chitiyo, Simba Nhivi and Tinashe Balakasi — are doubtful for selection. They joined long-term casualties like defenders Valentine Musarurwa, Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe, Webster Tafa and Valentine Ndaba.  But, Joseph Thulani and Leeroy Mavhunga, are back on their feet.

Chibuku Super Cup Fixtures

Today

ZPC Kariba v Yadah (NSS, 11 am)

Black Rhinos v Manica Diamonds (Baobab Stadium, 11 am)

Ngezi Platinum Stars v FC Platinum (Mandava Stadium, 11 am)

Tenax CS v Cranborne Bullets (Sakubva Stadium, 11 am)

Chicken Inn v Bulawayo Chiefs (Barbourfields Stadium, 1 pm)

Tomorrow

Herentals v Harare City (NSS, 11 am)

Triangle United v Whawha (Mandava Stadium, 11 am)

Bulawayo City v Highlanders (Barbourfields, 1 pm)

Dynamos v CAPS United (Baobab Stadium, 3 pm)

The Herald