Zimbabwe representative in the Caf Champions League Dynamos finally left Harare on Thursday afternoon aboard an Ethiopian airways flight on a route that will take them to Addis Ababa, Paris and then Algiers.
They are expected to land in the Algerian capital at around 11.45pm today, giving them one day to acclimatise and train ahead of the Sunday match.
The Harare giants had been scheduled to leave Harare on Wednesday afternoon but failed to take off due to financial problems.
Club vice-chairman Kenny Mubaiwa had to dig deep into his pockets so that the team would fly out of the capital.
Team manager Richard Chihoro confirmed to NewsDay Sport just before the team left that the team had managed to secure all the tickets and was expected to land in the Algerian capital just before midnight on Friday.
“Everything is OK now, I’m at the airport with the team and we are about to check in,” said Chihoro yesterday afternoon. “We are leaving at 1400hrs and going via Ethiopia and France. We should arrive in Algeria at 2345pm tomorrow (Friday),” confirmed Chihoro.
However, the Lloyd “Samaita” Mutasa-coached team, which trained at Raylton Sports ground yesterday morning before their departure, could rue the two days of preparations lost.
Dynamos, who are carrying what appears to be a healthy 4 – 1 lead from the first leg failed to train on Wednesday as the confusion unfolded and are set to lose out again on Friday as they will be travelling.
Speaking just before the team’s departure Mutasa said the problems bedevilling the team is not new to Dynamos and as such it will not diminish the morale in the team.
“This is not new to Dynamos or any other team from Zimbabwe. We don’t go at the time we are supposed to go all the time. The team remains focused, nothing has changed really. The fact that we finally managed to travel should be enough to boost the team’s confidence,” said Samaita.
Mutasa said his experience with Dynamos in 1995, when they travelled to the same country and arrived on the match day but managed to come away with a 3 – 2 victory against US Chaouia, should be sufficient motivation for the team.
“We are taking that as motivation. If the Dynamos of yesteryear went there and did it under the same conditions there is no reason for these youngsters to fail. I have told them what we went through during that era and what we did to overcome it. It’s a drawback but the boys are focused and our goal remains the same: we want to win the match,” said Mutasa.
Mutasa however is still cautious despite his team’s comfortable first leg win.
He said he would not make many changes to the team that won here, with midfielder Archford Gutu who missed the first game the only likely change expected in that first XI.
“We have only played the first half and if we manage to score four goals at home there is nothing that will stop our opponents from also scoring that same number of goals when they are playing at home. We are still at par but we will fight for an early goal to frustrate them. If we can score that early goal it will be very difficult for them to recover,” said Mutasa.