IT might not be the best of preparations he was hoping for ahead of his team’s Caf Champions League campaign, but Dynamos coach Kalisto Pasuwa reckons that his boys are prepared.
REPORT BY HENRY MHARA
The Premier Soccer League champions plunge into the waters of continental football on Sunday when they host Lesotho Correctional Services in a preliminary round first-leg match at Rufaro Stadium.
Pasuwa had hoped to play some international friendly matches in preparation for the campaign, but knowing Dynamos, it was always going to be difficult.
Had it not been for South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns who availed themselves for free, Dynamos would not have played any international friendly.
Instead they had settled for matches against Triangle, Black Rhinos, Black Mambas and Highlanders, clearly not ideal opponents to prepare for the tournament of Champions League magnitude.
“You cannot always get what you want in life, but it has to go on, that is football,” Pasuwa said.
“We lost some of our best players, but the team is beginning to shape up. We still need to improve in some areas especially the strike force, but we are slowly getting there.”
Dynamos have been severely paralysed after the departure of their talisman Denver Mukamba, Simba Sithole and Rodreck Mutuma, all lost to the Super Diski.
Many had predicted it was the end of Dynamos.
They have been greatly exposed in the strikeforce, but they have remained the same resolute and compact side at the back.
In the friendlies that they have played so far, Dynamos have not been vintage, but have managed to grind out results.
Against Bosso in the Bob89 Super Cup first leg match on Sunday, they chased shadows for longer periods, but still managed to score two goals through Tawanda Muparati and returning Patrick Khumbula to beat the hosts 2-1.
It was a harsh scoreline for Highlanders considering that they had completely dominated the match.
“In football it’s not the possession that counts, but goals,” said Pasuwa in his post-match analysis on Sunday. “It was good preparation for us and we are in a better position to face our next opponents.”
For Highlanders, the picture is bleak.
For all their possession against Dynamos, they struggled to create clear chances, let alone scoring.
There is no doubt Highlanders are good locally, but if they cannot find a good striker before the March transfer deadline window, they risk last year’s heartbreak when they drew most matches they should have easily won.
Pinning their hopes on lightweights like Beaven Chikaka, Cleopas Dube and Graham Ncube to deliver for them could be very risky.
Midfielder Masimba Mambare was the club’s top goal-scorer last season with 10 goals, a clear sign that there is something wrong with their firepower.
That they were pipped to the title on goal difference was a huge indictment on the quality of the strikers on their books.
Some strikers from Zambia have been spotted training with the club and hoping that they are good players and Highlanders will manage to sign them.
Njabulo Ncube has also resurfaced at Bosso training sessions and reports suggest he will be rejoining the team this season.