DeMbare suffer Ocean blow

Ocean Mushure

DYNAMOS will be without their influential skipper Ocean Mushure for their tough Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at ZPC Kariba this afternoon after the versatile left-sided player failed to recover from a knee injury he sustained this week.

Mushure picked the injury at training on Wednesday and was rested on Thursday with the technical team hoping that their star would recover in time for the trip.

However, coach Lloyd Mutasa yesterday said his captain’s condition had not improved, dealing a huge blow to the log leaders who are targeting to strengthen their position at the top with a win against a struggling ZPC Kariba.

“The knee is swollen so we cannot risk him. It’s a setback obviously because he is one important player for us. He is a leader in the team and his contribution this season has been invaluable. I would have wanted him to be around even if he was not going to play,” Mutasa said, indicating that Mushure had not made the trip to Kariba.

With Mushure out, Mutasa could be forced to rush back the returning Carlos Rusere into the team, with the left-back only starting training this week having missed the team’s previous few games due to injury.

Vice-captain Obey Mwerahari has also returned from an injury which side-lined him in the last couple of weeks.

The other big news is that Denver Mukamba, who missed the team’s last match, away to Shabanie, is back in the fold as he seeks to recover his lost form.

Dynamos lead the title race with 56 points, three ahead of second-placed Ngezi Platinum and FC Platinum, with seven matches remaining in the season.

“We have done our preparations, but at this stage of the campaign, what is important is to keep our feet on the ground. I have been in this position before. In 2013, at this stage of the season, we were in the top-four, although we didn’t manage to win the championship. I know what it means to be there among those teams challenging for the championship,” Mutasa said.

“So I have been telling these boys that we need to maximise on the opportunity accorded to us by the Almighty. We have to be focused and try to maintain things.”

Dynamos, unbeaten in their last three matches, will naturally start the match as favourites, against a side that has been struggling due to boardroom squabbles that has seen coach Sunday Chidzambwa vowing to walk away at the end of this campaign.

The veteran coach, who announced a fortnight ago that he was not going to renew his contract when it expires at the end of the year, was heard in a secretly recorded audio blasting the club’s executive for among other things, interfering in his job.

The team has picked just one point in their last four matches, form that is only matched by basement club Bantu Rovers.

Dynamos won the reverse fixture comfortably, a 3-1 victory at the National Sports Stadium, and the Glamour Boys would consolidate their leading position with a double over ZPC Kariba, who are desperate to turn around the corner after a troubled month.

Matchday 28 fixtures

Today: Bulawayo City v Ngezi Platinum (Barbourfields), Tsholotsho v Chapungu (Dulivhadzimo), ZPC Kariba v Dynamos (Nyamhunga), Yadah v Black Rhinos (National Sports Stadium), Harare City v Bantu Rovers (Rufaro), How Mine v Hwange (Luveve). Tomorrow: Caps v Triangle (National Sports Stadium), Highlanders v FC Platinum (Barbourfields)