Reigning league champions and Mbada Diamonds Cup winners Dynamos will look to start off the 2012 football season in the right way when they face Motor Action in the NetOne Charity Shield at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The clash will be the perfect way for either side to take an early psychological advantage, as the two rivals prepare for a season in which could be faced with a multitude of challengers beyond the traditional big teams.
Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa will obviously hope that his team fare better than what they have done in these pre-season games so far.
A win against Quelaton was followed by two draws to Monoz and Black Mambas. A string of losses against Hwange and Gunners, not to mention a 1-0 defeat at the hands of their opponents on Sunday in the Bob 88 Super Cup third and fourth playoffs, followed. The latter, however, saw Dynamos fielding a majority of their junior squad, and with only two senior players coming into that match, the Charity Shield defending champions can perhaps be excused for that particular defeat.
But while Dynamos could afford to give their junior players a runaround in the Bob 88 match, they can’t just afford to do the same on Sunday. The match is of immense importance to the team and Pasuwa knows it.
Without even considering the monetary rewards involved in this competition, victory for his side will serve as a huge confidence booster ahead of the team’s Caf Champions League, first round, first leg clash away to Mozambique’s Liga Muçulmana seven days later.
Winners are assured of a cool $50 000 while the losers will get half the prize money as a consolation. It is with this in mind that Pasuwa would be expected to unleash into battle his strongest possible side.
Much of the focus though will be on his striking force, a department the former Dynamos midfielder has blamed for the team’s dismal pre-season performance.
Dynamos are likely to miss left-back Ocean Mushure for the tie as the player is yet to be cleared by his former club Monomotapa.
As for Motor Action, the match is of equal paramountcy. An embarrassing exit from the Caf Confederation Cup at the hands of South African minnows Black Leopards has clearly destabilised the Mighty Bulls pen.
A win on Sunday will go a long way in dousing a potentially explosive blaze that is reportedly building up in the Motor Action camp with strong reports that coach Joey Antipas is sitting on a time bomb following the mauling by Leopards.