SEVEN wins, one defeat in all cup competitions in the last five years.
This is the record that Kalisto Pasuwa puts on the line when he selects his Dynamos squad to face Highlanders in today’s inaugural $110 000 TM Pick ’n’ Pay Challenge Cup at the National Sports Stadium.
The two teams have faced each other four times in cup competitions at this venue in the period under review with Dynamos winning thrice and losing once.
Breaking the statistics further down, the story makes grim reading for Highlanders as they have conceded a massive 13 goals in the eight cup meetings and scored just once.
The last time the old rivals met in a cup competition was in the Bob 90 Super Cup final at Rufaro Stadium on March 16 when goals from ex-Bosso player Masimba Mambare and Ronald Chitiyo settled the match.
In the previous year, the two had met three times in separate cup competitions with Dynamos showing no mercy on their adversaries.
A two-legged Bob 89 final tie in February of that year ended in a 6-1 aggregate humiliation for Highlanders before the Uhuru Cup final two months later was also won by Dynamos courtesy of Murape Murape’s 41st minute goal.
In 2012, Highlanders and Dynamos met once in a cup match, in the Uhuru Cup final which again the latter won comfortably. Guthrie Zhokinyi and Cuthbert Malajila’s unanswered goals sealed the victory for the Glamour Boys.
Now we get to the 2011 season, perhaps the only year Bosso fans would want to remember in their recent memory. This is so because that it is the year when Highlanders managed to beat Dynamos in a cup match.
The match was the Uhuru Cup final when a penalty shootout decided the contest which had ended goalless. Zhokinyi was the fall guy in the match after missing two penalties for his side, one during the match and another in the penalty shootout.
Evans Gwekwerere’s 37th minute goal was all Dynamos needed to clinch the 2010 Zaoga Church 50th Anniversary Charity Shield at the expense of Highlanders.
Reading through all of the above, it’s understandable why Dynamos fans are ever so optimistic whenever they are meeting Highlanders.
Yet, it’s not guaranteed that their team will win again today.
Regardless of the statistics, either side could win and come this evening, there would be a victor, who will not only take away home a cool $60 000 cheque, but also the bragging rights which goes with this big clash.
The losing team will get a $50 000. The man of the match will get $2 000.
Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu who is winless against Dynamos since taking over the reins two years ago, believes the time is ripe to break the jinx.
“We have prepared well and are ready for the match,” he said yesterday. “Records against Dynamos have not been good in recent years, but we have learnt a lot from those games we drew and lost. We are hoping to use the experience to our advantage. We cannot talk much about history because this is a new game and the best team of the day will win,” said Kaindu.
Highlanders arrived yesterday and had an afternoon training session at the match venue.
Kaindu could not be drawn into revealing if he will start Ajax Cape Town reject Simba Sithole for this encounter. The striker is part of the 18-member Bosso squad that flew into the capital yesterday morning ahead of the match.
“He is part of the squad in camp and his presence gives us a bit of dimension. He has experience from South Africa which could be vital, but at Highlanders we believe in teamwork,” added Kaindu.
Charles Sibanda, who missed the team’s draw at home to Buffaloes last week, returns and is expected to lead the Bosso attack, as he has done exceptionally this season with 12 league goals.
As for Dynamos, they welcome back into the fold Stephen Alimenda and Thomas Magorimbo who missed the team’s 2-0 league win over Chiredzi FC on Wednesday, but Devon Chafa who limped off during the warm-up before the match with a groin problem has not recovered and has been omitted from the final 18-squad for today’s match.
However, it is the temperamental Rodreck Mutuma who has proven to be a big game player in recent weeks, and would be shouldering most of the team’s hopes this afternoon. His double on Wednesday could be what coach Kalisto Pasuwa needs going into the match.
The game will act as the Grand Draw main event for the TM Pick n Pay Big Brands Bargain Bonanza Promotion, a retail promotion that has been running at all TM Pick n Pay stores nationwide and will see 17 vehicles being given away.
Dynamos: A Mukandi, B Moyo, A Mbara, T Ndlovu, O Mushure, S Alimenda, R Chitiyo, T Rusike, S Sithole, W Pakamisa, R Mutuma
Highlanders: A Sibanda, E Mudzingwa, D Ndlovu, I Mapuranga, B Kangwa, F Chindungwe, H Maradzika, J Ngodzo, P Manhanga, C Sibanda, S Sithole
Dynamos-Highlanders meetings since 2010
Bob 90 Super Cup Final (Dynamos 2-0 Highlanders)
Uhuru Cup Final (Dynamos 1-0 Highlanders)
Bob 89 Super Cup Final, first Leg (Highlanders 1-2 Dynamos)
Bob 89 Super Cup Final, second Leg (Dynamos 4-0 Highlanders)
Uhuru Cup Final (Dynamos 2-0 Highlanders)
Uhuru Cup final (Highlanders won 4-3 on penalties)
Zaoga Church 50th Anniversary Charity Shield final (Dynamos 1-0 Highlanders)