DYNAMOS have been dealt a huge blow in their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title tussle with Ngezi Platinum Stars, FC Platinum and Chicken Inn following the suspension of chief striker Christian Ntouba Epoupa from today’s match against Bulawayo City after the hitman accumulated three yellow cards.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The Glamour Boys will also be without one of their influential players, midfielder Denver Mukamba, who despite getting a reprieve from the club management following his latest episode of misdemeanours, will miss today’s clash since he has not been training.
Mukamba escaped with a final warning after he went for days without attending training sessions.
Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa said yesterday, Mukamba would not play a part in the team’s next two matches today and on Saturday as he had not been part of the team’s training sessions.
Mukamba and Epoupa have scored 19 goals between them so far with Epoupa leading goal charts at the club with 11 goals.
He has since fallen four behind Caps United’s Dominic Chungwa, who has now netted 15 goals, while Black Rhinos’ Lot Chiwunga is the second leading goal scorer in the PSL with 12 goals.
With three matches left before the curtain comes down on the soccer calendar, Epoupa would have wanted to catch up in his bid to win the Golden Boot Award.
Mutasa, however, said he would do with those players available. He said the fact that the Bulawayo side are fighting relegation makes them a threat to their bid for the championship. He said they had great respect for their opponents despite their struggles which could see them face the chop at the end of the campaign.
The Dynamos gaffer said every team that plays against Dynamos always give their best and it was against this background that they would approach today’s match with caution.
“We have done our preparations and are looking forward to the match. We respect Bulawayo City and the fact that they are fighting relegation makes them difficult opponents to face,” Mutasa said. “Their objective is to survive relegation and we can’t afford to be complacent because they are a big threat. It will be tough but we are Dynamos, we are fighting for honours. So we are going there with a positive attitude.”
Dynamos are involved in a fierce title tussle with log leaders Ngezi Platinum, FC Platinum as well as Chicken Inn.
Ngezi Platinum have accumulated 63 points, the same as FC Platinum, but the former have a better goal difference.
Dynamos are placed third and are two points off the pace while Chicken Inn are fourth on 59 points, thus everything points to an intriguing conclusion to the championship race.
Mutasa has been brave about the non-availability of his best attackers and will probably have to trust his youthful reserves.
The Glamour Boys will be hoping that both Ngezi Platinum and FC Platinum falter in their respective assignments this afternoon to claim top spot in the event that they overcome Bulawayo City.
Ngezi Platinum host Chicken Inn at Baobab while FC Platinum travel to Luveve to face struggling Tsholotsho who, in second position from the bottom with a paltry 24 points, now need a miracle to survive relegation.
Bulawayo City are in fifth position from the bottom with 35 points and will be looking for a victory against Dynamos that could help guarantee their stay in the top-flight league.
They have, however, been struggling for form having won just one match — a 2-1 victory over Tsholotsho — in their last five matches. They lost their last two matches against Chapungu and Yadah FC.
In their last encounter against Dynamos in Harare, they scored three goals, but ended on the receiving end after they were handed a 4-3 defeat.
Other suspended players are:
Thabani Goredema (Chicken Inn FC), Tatenda Tavengwa (Tsholotsho FC), Erick Mudzingwa (Highlanders FC), Godfrey Makaruse (Highlanders FC), Milton Ncube (How Mine FC), Johanes Sibanda (Yadah FC), Jimmy Dzingai (Yadah FC), Taurai Chigudu (Black Rhinos FC)