BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Log leaders Dynamos will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run in the Chibuku Super Cup when they clash with second placed Harare City, who are eyeing a spot in the knockout stages of the competition, at Baobab Stadium this afternoon.
Dynamos have put together a nine match unbeaten streak in Group 1, punctuated by six wins and three draws with one match remaining to complete the stage.
Tonderai Ndiraya’s charges will be looking to finish the group stages campaign with their unbeaten record intact with a side that has everything to play for. City need an outright win to confirm their ticket to the quarterfinals.
City missed an opportunity to seal their spot in the knockout stages after they were clobbered 3-0 by bottom team Herentals FC at the National Sports Stadium last week.
The Lloyd Chitembwe coached side, which has performed well in this competition over the years would have confirmed their place in the quarterfinals with a win against The Students as CAPS United failed to beat Dynamos at the Baobab.
Thus a tie pitting two of the best coaches on the local scene Chitembwe and Ndiraya, who worked together in the national team for the past couple of years, promises a lot of fireworks.
“We want to finish all the games with an unbeaten record so we are taking the game seriously. We are also approaching the game with the quarter final in mind as well considering that we have already qualified,” Tonderai Ndiraya told Standardsport.
Dynamos also boast of the best defence in the group having conceded just two goals in nine matches while their strike force has been the most potent with 12 goals to date.
Ironically, the two goals that Dynamos have conceded have been own goals and both came in the two big Harare derby matches against arch-rivals CAPS United.
Defender Emmanuel Jalai was the culprit in both instances. The City Fathers on the other hand will have to make do without three of their top players including captain Marshall Machazane, Ben Musaka and Tatenda Tawengwa who are all suspended for the tie.
But Chitembwe believes the other players will step up to the plate and steer the ship to the Promised Land.
“This is a chance to give others who have not been playing a chance and see how they react.
“They have to capitalise on this opportunity and it’s a good thing because they might give a different dimension to how we have been doing things,” Chitembwe said in an interview with our sister paper NewsDay.
“I have to give credit to the team. I think these boys deserve a special recognition for what they have done so far. We assembled this team from nothing and they have gone this far. They have worked hard and they do deserve some credit.”
Harare City are in second place on the log standings with 13 points having won three matches, drawn four times and losing twice.
They will need an outright win to progress to the next stage but a draw and even a defeat may be enough in case ZPC Kariba fail to beat CAPS United at the Nations Sports Stadium today.
ZPC Kariba occupy third place, having amassed 11 points in nine matches so far and will follow the proceedings at the Baobab with keen interest.
But they will have to collect maximum points against CAPS United, a side that started the competition so well but ran out of steam as the competition progressed.
The quarterfinals of the Chibuku Super Cup will be played next weekend.