CAPS United assistant coach, Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi stirred a hornet’s nest yesterday ahead of their trip to Algeria this afternoon, describing Castle Lager Premier Soccer League rivals Dynamos as ungrateful after their supporters openly supported Egyptian giants Zamalek during their Caf Champions League showdown at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Kwashi said Caps United were Zimbabwe’s representative in the prestigious African Champions League and that their success would not benefit them alone, but every club including Dynamos, Highlanders and Tsholotsho.
The assistant coach said if Caps United progressed in this tournament, it would open two slots for Zimbabwe in the next campaign and that Dynamos could be one of the beneficiaries ultimately.
He said they were disappointed that instead of the Dynamos supporters throwing their weight behind them, they sang the name of an Egyptian player.
“We were very disappointed with some Dynamos supporters, who were supporting Zamalek on Sunday. They sang the name of one Zamalek player instead of supporting Caps United. If Caps United progress further in this tournament, it will open two slots for Zimbabwe in the Caf Competition and it is Dynamos, Highlanders and Tsholotsho who will be the beneficiaries,” Kwashi said.
He appealed to all Zimbabweans to rally behind the Green Machine, as they face USM Alger on Sunday seeking a win that will take them to the quarter-finals of Africa’s premier club competition.
Caps United are expected to leave for Algeria this afternoon. They will connect to Rome, Italy, from Ethiopia before flying to Algeria, where they are expected to arrive tomorrow morning.
And Kwashi said morale was high in the team after their defeat of fancied five-time African Champions League champions Zamalek, whom they overcame 3-1 at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday to claim third spot on the Group B standings with six points, while the Egyptian giants dropped to the foot of the table, still on five points.
USM Alger and Al Ahli Tripoli remained tied on eight points after sharing the spoils in their encounter.
Caps United now need to win the final Group B match against USM Alger to go through.
“Of course, the victory against Zamalek gave us a great lift, but that is now water under the bridge. We are now focused on our next match against USM Alger on Sunday,” Kwashi said.
“It will be a tough and exciting battle against USM Alger. They are a strong and quality team. They came here and we beat them 2-1, but this is a new battle and with the grace of God, the Green Machine will prevail.
“But we remain level-headed because we are facing a high-quality team. They, too, know it’s a winner-takes-all and will try to win the match at all costs. But we are motivated and keep working hard, we keep pushing hard to win the match for Zimbabwe.”
The Green Machine will be again without Leonard Tsipa, who is yet to recover from injury, while goalkeeper Edmore “Zikeeper” Sibanda, who missed the Sunday clash against Zamalek also due to injury, was expected to pass a late fitness test and make the trip, with reports suggesting he would be fit to play on Sunday.