BY HENRY MHARA
DYNAMOS have been handed a major boost ahead of their trip to Chicken Inn for a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at the weekend with the return to full fitness of star striker Ngandu Mangala.
The Congolese, who scored a brace in Dynamos’ 2-0 win over Mushowani Stars in the Harare giants’ league opener a fortnight ago, was absent in the team’s match against Hwange at the weekend.
DeMbare lost the match 2-1, in a game that they dominated for longer periods, but were let down by some poor finishing.
Veteran Edward Sadomba and young Tawanda Macheke played upfront, and while the later scored the only goal for the hosts, the duo were largely wasteful.
Dynamos coach Lloyd Chigowe refused to put the blame on his forwards, or to moan the absence of Mangala following the defeat, but he would be happy that his main striker is available for the tough trip to Bulawayo where his rebuilt team will be put to yet another test by a very good Chicken Inn side.
Team manager Richard Chihoro yesterday confirmed Mangala, who had an ankle problem, is training with the rest of the squad.
“He is training with the other players. He has fully recovered and is available for selection,” Chihoro said.
“It’s a major boost for the team, but we won’t be relying on him alone. The coach has built a very strong squad, and even though we lost the last match, but you could see that there is progress and the project is exciting.”
He added: “Chicken Inn are a very good side, one of the title contenders, but we are going there with the aim of winning the match. They are strong, but so are we.”
Chihoro said there are no injury worries in camp ahead of the big clash. The only huge blot in their camp is that Ghanaian Robert Sackey, yet to return to the country, would be unavailable for the trip to Bulawayo.
Sackey was forced to return to his country last week to get a police clearance so that his work permit could be processed.
Dynamos fans will be an expectant lot this week, and going forward after watching their team displaying some scintillating football last week.
Their Cameroonian imports Herve Mbega and the highly-rated Ngahan Claude Junior, nicknamed “Neymar”, impressed on debut, and Chigowe will be looking for more positive performances from the duo.
But they are going up against a high-flying Chicken Inn who currently leads the pack after two games.
The other matches will see reigning champions FC Platinum, who have also won their first two games, beating Harare City (away) and Triangle at Mandava, travel to Harare to face Mushowani Stars amid reports of boardroom squabbles with tensions simmering between the team’s executive and the technical team.
Hwange return to their base to host Ngezi Platinum Stars on Sunday.
Ngezi Platinum, who were runners-up in last year’s campaign, lost their first game to Triangle at Gibbo before coming from behind to turn the power on Mushowani Stars at Baobab on Saturday.
Caps United are also back home at the National Sports Stadium against Chapungu on Sunday in what could be a tricky tie for the Green Machine.
Highlanders head to Rufaro Stadium searching for their first win of the season against a side that is yet to pick some points.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Week 3 fixtures
Saturday: Mushowani Stars v FC Platinum (National Sports Stadium 1pm), Black Rhinos v Bulawayo Chiefs, TelOne v ZPC Kariba (Mandava), Harare City v Highlanders (Rufaro), Chicken Inn v Dynamos (Barbourfields)
Sunday: Caps United v Chapungu (National Sports Stadium), Hwange v Ngezi Platinum (Colliery), Herentals v Yadah (Rufaro), Triangle v Manica Diamonds (Gibbo)