DYNAMOS coach Kalisto Pasuwa says the absence of midfielder Walter Mukanga in the Caf Champions League football clash against AS Vita is a big blow and the player might also miss the second leg next weekend.
The league champions host the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) side in the first round, first leg at the National Sports Stadium.
Mukanga sat out the team’s training session yesterday after being rested for the weekend friendlies as Dynamos stepped up their preparations with a full-day training session at Zimphos.
Pasuwa said of the seriousness of the blow: “He has a groin problem and is definitely out of the match against AS Vita. He has been doing well and it’s sad that he will not play on Saturday. His positioning near the opposition box is good and he is never shy to take shots from a distance. But I am particularly impressed with his energy. He is a box-to-box player so those qualities will be missed.”
“He is the only player in the Champions League squad who has an injury, the rest are okay. We should be able to find a replacement for him,” added Pasuwa.
Mukanga impressed on his debut for Dynamos against Botswana’s Mochudi Centre Chiefs in Gaborone in a Champions League match that ended 1-all a fortnight ago, allowing Dynamos to progress to the next stage of the competition on a 4-1 aggregate score.
With Mukanga out, Pasuwa says he will make some positional changes to the team that started in Gaborone.
Tawanda Muparati, who started wide on the left wing, is likely to be moved inside into central midfield where he will partner gritty veteran Stephen Alimenda.
The other player who is set to benefit from Mukanga’s injury is winger Tafadzwa Rusike. If Muparati is drafted into central midfield as is hugely expected, Rusike, a natural left-sided winger, is almost guaranteed a place on the left flank.
Pasuwa, who has not won a Caf match outside the country since taking over the coaching reins at Dynamos three years ago, said he
had very little knowledge of his Saturday opposition, but had been getting some information from former Warriors midfielder
Chris Samakweri who is based in the DRC.
“I am in touch with Samakweri, but there is very little I know about them. He has told me that they are a very wealthy side on the same levels with TP Mazembe. He said it’s a quality side with a lot of internationals. We will have to be at our best and try to get a comfortable lead at home,” Pasuwa said.
AS Vita are expected in the country this afternoon, according to their website, although they had not sent in their itinerary
to the Zimbabwe Football Association by yesterday afternoon.