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Dynamos’ defining night


Dynamos’ defining moment in the CAF Orange Champions League arrives tonight as they face Algerian side Entente Setif in a crucial soccer match at the Stade de 8 Mai 45 they have to avoid defeat to remain in contention for a semi-final place.
Kickoff is 9pm Zimbabwe time.
After two losses to defending champions TP Mazembe and Esperance, Dynamos picked up their first set of points two weeks ago when they beat the Algerians 1-0 at Rufaro to claw back into contention.
The three points pushed Dynamos into third position with three points, Esperance remained second with six and TP are on seven. TP and Esperance also clash at the same time at the Stade de Rades in Tunis.
Should Dynamos lose, they are out of the competition, but like coach Elvis “Chuchu” Chiweshe said before departure, they need a point from the game, hoping that the defending champions will beat Esperance and they (Dynamos) also beat the Tunisians at home.
Then mathematics of the game dictate that if TP win, they will move to 10 points, Esperance with remain on six and Dynamos on four, if they draw.
Should they win and Esperance lose, Dynamos will move to six and closer to a last four place and could seal their berth if they avoid defeat against TP in the last match. To achieve that, Dynamos will have to forget about Entente’s revenge mission.
The Algerians want three points from this match and started off by making sure Dynamos stayed at the airport in Algiers for three hours without food and water. After that, they made a 360km journey to the venue of the match by road, arriving on Wednesday night in contravention of Confederation of African Football rules and regulations. They had only one day training and rest ahead of tonight’s match.
The regulations state that if the journey between point of entry and match venue is more than 200km, then the visitors must be flown. That was not done and rarely does CAF take action against North African teams.
And CAF has appointed match officials from Algeria’s neighbours Morocco to handle the match-Abdellah El Achik will be in the centre, aided by Redouane Achik and Bouazza Rouani.
So Chiweshe and his charges must harness their efforts towards a good performance on the field of play without the injured duo of Evans Gwekwerere and Desmond Maringwa. Cuthbert Malajila has also left for Club Africain of Tunisia.
He will use the same team that won at Rufaro.
“I will not change the team. The problem that I have been facing is changing players for various reasons.
“Some of the players I wanted to use for this competition were not registered or failed to join our club. For example, I wanted Clive Kawinga from Eagles but we failed to get him on board. I’m faced with a drought of strikers for the forthcoming match but we will have to do with what we have,” said Chiweshe ahead of departure.
In other matches, former
African champions JS Kabylie could become the first club to reach the last four of this year’s Orange CAF Champions League by avoiding defeat against Egyptian giants Al-Ahly in a day four clash this weekend.
In Owerri, Nigeria’s torchbearers Heartland will be seeking for their first win as they play host to Ismaily of Egypt in the other Group B clash. Heartland, losing finalists last year, have bagged just a point from their three previous games and anything short of the maximum points will be detrimental to their campaign.
Group A
Tonight at 9pm: Entente Setif
(Algeria) vs Dynamos (Zimbabwe)
Esperance (Tunisia) vs TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
Group B
Heartland (Nigeria) vs Ismaily (Egypt)
Al Ahly (Egypt) vs JS Kabylie (Algeria)
Dynamos squad
Washington Arubi, Munyaradzi Diya, David Kutyauripo, Tafadzwa Maingire, Brighton Tuwaya, Ashley Rambanapasi, Edmore Mashiri, Khumbulani Banda, Thabani Kamusoko, George Magariro, Milton Makopa, Wonder Sithole, Benjamin Marere, Guthrie Zhokinyi, Isaac Pitamuja, Dylan Chivandire and Nicholas Alufandika.

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