Dynamos, Caps United ready for African safari

0
502

With the World Cup hype now over, Dynamos return to familiar territory when they play Democratic Republic of Congo giants and African champions TP Mazembe on Sunday as the Champions League mini-league stage gets underway.
TP Mazembe are expected in the country tomorrow.
Dynamos are the only Zimbabwean club to consistently challenge for honours in the prestigious Caf Orange African Champions League.
So rich is their history in this competition that even though they are yet to be crowned champions, pundits regard them as one of the heavyweights whenever predictions are made before the tournament.
In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Dynamos gaffer Elvis Chiweshe said his mission was to ensure that the club’s reputation in the Champions League was kept intact, despite facing an uphill task against TP Mazembe.
He said Sunday’s match at the National Sports Stadium is crucial in setting the platform for a successful campaign.
“Every time Dynamos are in this competition the fans expect to get good results and we won’t disappoint them by playing defensive football.
“We are going to attack all the way and hope that we post good results because when it comes to the group stages, you need three points in most of your games to qualify for the semi-finals.
“We have a squad that is capable of going far in this tournament and with a few additions, we will have the depth to sustain us whether we are playing at home or away,” said Chiweshe.
Dynamos were unbeaten in seven league matches in the unbranded premiership before the World Cup break, but had two trips to Libya and Germany cancelled that at the last moment.
They are likely to have a number of new faces in their team ahead of the game against TP Mazembe after goalkeeper Knowledge Jimu and striker Clive Kawinga were reported to be on the verge of signing for DeMbare.
Although Chiweshe refused to comment, a source close to the Glamour Boys’ camp told NewsDay that Lengthens defender Ndumiso Khanye and Gunners midfielder Willard Katsande are in Chiweshe’s plans.
However, Chiweshe said goalkeeper Washington Arubi would be involved in the TP Mazembe game after he arrived back in the country on Sunday from trials in South Africa.
In the case of Cuthbert Malajila, Chiweshe said he was not sure if he would be available after the player went to South Africa, again without the coach’s knowledge and blessings.
Reports from the Democratic of Congo say influential midfielder Patou Kabangu will miss the game after suffering an ankle injury during his team’s pre-season tour of Zambia.
TP Mazembe are the defending champions of the competition and have four Zimbabwean players in their ranks although they are unlikely to feature in the game. However, the Dynamos defence will still have to deal with Mazembe’s captain fantastic Tresor Mputu and last year’s top scorer in the competition Diogo Kaluyituka.
Meanwhile, Caps United reignite their CAF Orange Confederations Cup bid when they travel to Sudan on Thursday to face Al Hilal in the last 16 of the continental competition.
The match takes place in Khartoum on Sunday at 8pm.
Maxwell Mironga, the club’s chief executive, said they will be departing on Thursday for the first leg, minus six of their players who have crossed the Limpopo into South Africa.
While this will obviously affect Lloyd Chitembwe’s men, the Green Machine have said they are not replacing Method Mwanjali, Nyasha Mushekwi, Oscar Machapa, Lionel Mtizwa, Khama Billiart and Tafadzwa Rusike.
Former Dynamos forward, Edward Sadomba plays for Al Hilal and they have stated their desire to reach the mini-league phase of Africa’s second tier club competition.