Dynamos have been dealt a huge blow ahead of their Caf Orange Champions League soccer tie against TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi this Sunday after seven players were slapped with suspensions.
Goalkeeper Washington Arubi, George Magariro, Brighton Tuwaya, Benjamin Marere, Farayi Vimisayi and Ashley Rambanapasi will miss the Friday trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Dynamos secretary-general Oliver Manyau confirmed last night that they had received communication from the Confederation of African Football (Caf), adding that striker Dylan Chivandire had been suspended for two games.
“It’s a tight situation, but we have enough resources to cover for that,” he said.
Most of the suspensions stem from the 3-0 loss to Entente Setif two weeks ago, which saw Magariro and Arubi being booked after they queried the referee’s decision to disallow Chivandire’s goal on the hour.
Ten minutes after that incident, Tuwaya was sent off.
This means coach Elvis Chiweshe, already missing Cuthbert Malajila, will take more than a severely depleted side to the Great Lakes region after he also failed to secure a number of players they had targeted for the competition.
These include Highlanders’ Zephaniah Ngodzo and Stephen Alimenda, who has since joined Caps United.
For now, the Harare giants will be content with the return of Evans Gwekwerere and Desmond Maringwa who had been sidelined by injury for more than a month.
Phillip Sithole, Gwekwerere, Maringwa, David Kutyauripo, Khumbulani Banda, Guthrie Zhokinyi, Thabani Kamusoko, Munyaradzi Diya, Milton Makopa, Wonder Sithole, Eddie Mashiri and Isaac Pitamuja will now have to navigate the Dynamos ship to resuscitate their waning fortunes in the competition.
Meanwhile, Dynamos will welcome back Gwekwerere and Maringwa as they re-launch their league campaign against Douglas Warriors in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon.
Dynamos are trying to cut down on their games in hand as they have played only 11 while leaders Motor Action have reached the halfway mark and are 10 points clear.
Dynamos were last involved in a PSL match on August 18 when they beat FC Victoria 1-0. Their other matches have been postponed due to the club’s commitments in the Champions league.
And this backlog worries Chiweshe.
“These games in hand are very problematic; they can win you or lose you the championship. We were faced by the same dilemma in the previous two seasons and we ended up losing the league,” said Chiweshe.
Chiweshe, however, said his team would take all the games seriously and their main priority now was to win all the games in hand.
“The only way we can catch up with Motor Action is by winning all those games in hand. That way we will put them under pressure. Our destiny is in our hands, all we need to do is work hard as a team.”
Douglas Warriors, whose season is heading for a crisis after four straight defeats in the PSL, declared they would collect all the three points today.
Said Beaven Gwamure, the team coach: “We might have lost four games in a row but it’s part of the game, we are opening a new page tomorrow (today).”
He added: “Dynamos are no longer a big team, they are just an ordinary side and if they are underrating us, then they will be shocked.”
Meanwhile, champions Gunners will seek to continue their recent fine run when they entertain an equally impressive Black Mambas in another PSL match pencilled for Morris Depot today.
Gunners are currently on fourth position and if they manage to collect all the points at stake, they will dislodge Shabanie Mine who are third.
Mambas, who have won their last three games and are on position 13, can move to 10th with a win.
There is no doubt this will be a crucial game for Mambas after they went on a player-buying spree during the transfer window that saw them pick up a massive 10 points from a possible 12.
Players like Richard Mteki, Willard Manyatera, William Mapfumo and Audience Rundofa have joined the John “Toto” Ncube-coached side while former Dynamos striker Sebastian Mutizirwa seems to have found new confidence in front of goal.