Chibuku Super Cup might have the better financial rewards and other huge benefits for the winners, even more than winning the league championship itself, but for Dynamos, the rewards may come as a bonus, as what they seek from this competition is restoration of self-confidence and a return to form, with their minds fixated more on surviving relegation in the topflight.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Harare giants host Herentals in the quarter-finals of the country’s main knock-out competition at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday. The cup’s rewards include a $75 000 cheque and a ticket to represent Zimbabwe in the Caf Confederations Cup next year.
The two teams will also meet in the league later in the season, and the Students are one of the six fixtures that remain for Dynamos to manoeuvre through in their desperate bid to secure a stay in the top flight next year.
While Dynamos interim coach Lloyd Chigowe would be happy to win at the weekend and progress further in the competition, for him, the importance of the possible victory over Herentals lies elsewhere.
“I hope it’s not going to be another jinx where we beat Herentals in the cup tournament and then we fail to get three points against them in the league game. This is the story of what happened previously, but naturally we expect to be able to get a good result and lay a foundation for a fight in the last six games of the league,” Chigowe said.
He was referring to their clash against Bulawayo Chiefs in the previous round of the Chibuku Super Cup, where DeMbare beat the Bulawayo side, but were held by the same side in the league a few days later.
“It’s critical to win the game in the sense that we need to raise the morale of the boys, to bring back self-belief because every game we play, should we get a positive result then it will give a positive impact on the boys’ mentality.”
Dynamos are currently in the relegation zone, with a real possibility of getting demoted at the end of the season.
The main cause for their present predicament has been their failure to score goals, managing just 20, the lowest in the league, even less than bottom-placed Shabanie Mine and other fellow relegation strugglers Bulawayo City and Mutare City.
Chigowe said they had been working on that department since he took over last week, and is hoping to see a marked improvement this weekend.
“Today, four goals were scored at the training session, some of them because of primitive defending, but as a coach you are happy if you see goals scored at training. If they can score at training, they will score in games. Actually, we have worked a lot on our finishing, the whole of this week. It has been the theme of the training sessions. We hope it will carry into the match.”
Herentals have been outstanding in the last few weeks, and are second on the form table behind league leaders FC Platinum in the last five matches.
“Any team that plays against Dynamos will raise the bar, so we are expecting one hell of a fight. But in the end, Dynamos must triumph. The last time we played them (in the league), we thought we got a raw deal. We thought we should have got three points from that match, but there were some decisions that went against us, and the rains also affected the rhythm of our play. We thought we were on top of the game. But this is a new game altogether, we should treat them with respect and apply ourselves well to get a good result.”
DeMbare will be without winger Cleopas Kapupurika and Brett Amidu for the match due to injuries, while skipper Ocean Mushure has excused himself because of bereavement in the family.