Former Dynamos championship winning coach David Mandigora has warned the Harare giants of a tough encounter when they engage Mozambicans Liga Muçulmana in the Caf Champions League first round, first leg at the 5 000-seater Mutola Stadium in a fortnight.
Liga Muçulmana qualified to the first round after beating Tanzania’s Mafunzo 3-0 in the second leg preliminary round in Maputo on Saturday, to conclude the tie on a 5-0 aggregate score.
Dynamos, on the other hand, sailed through to the first round of the competition without kicking a ball after they were given a bye in the preliminary round.
Mandigora, who spent last season coaching a Mozambican team Costa do Sol, which he helped to a respectable fourth position on the log, has some important information for Dynamos ahead of the clash.
“Liga Muçulmana has a lot of money and they can afford to buy any player they want. They are well sponsored. They are a decent team with very good players. I could have helped Dynamos by giving them names they should watch out for, but unfortunately the team has money and they have probably bought a new team since I left last year.
“But one thing for sure is that the Mozambique league is very competitive. Muçulmana won the league last season which shows they are a very strong squad. Dynamos would have to be at their best to win the match,” said Mandigora.
The tough-talking gaffer, who guided the Harare giants to the semi-finals of the competition in 2008, was part of the crowd that watched Dynamos fall 1-0 to Gunners in a friendly match at Lafarge Stadium on Sunday.
“I’m not sure if that was the squad they are going to use for the match because they have been playing a lot of friendlies and changing squads. But all the same they will have to improve in some areas. They are not a bad team at all. They have quality all around.
“Dynamos have a big chance of winning the tie. They will have to get a good result away. Dynamos have always fared well at home, so a good result away will almost put them through,” reckoned Mandigora.
In that unforgettable campaign when Dynamos reached the semis — their best record in the Caf Champions League in the new millennium — the Harare giants faced a Costa do Sol squad in the first round, winning 3-0 at home before restricting the Mozambican team to a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture in Maputo.
Dynamos has played seven preparatory matches ahead of the Champions League match, losing three, drawing three and winning just once — a record head coach Calisto Pasuwa admitted to be giving him some sleepless nights.
The fact the only team they managed to beat is promoted Quelaton, whom they thrashed 6-0 before falling to Hwange (2-1), Motor Action (1-0) and Gunners (1-0), gives a gloomy picture about their outlook this season.
They also battled to a 2-2 draw against Black Mambas before battling to two goalless draws against promoted Buffaloes and Monomotapa.
After watching his team falling to Gunners, Pasuwa made a frank assessment of his squad so far, declaring they were not yet ready for the Muçulmana duel.
He said he still had a lot of areas to work on especially strikers he blamed for uninspiring results.
Interestingly though, Dynamos boast of some of the league’s highly rated strikers.
They have on their books last season’s Castle Lager top scorer Rodrick Mutuma, former Poland-based gunman Takesure Chinyama, the speedy Martin Vengesai, lanky Tineyi Chitora and Zambian import Derick Kabwe.