FORMER Dynamos striker Norman Maroto has backed the club’s young forward Jayden Bakari to lead the assault on Highlanders in the epic rearranged premiership clash at Barbourfields this afternoon. This is despite that Bakari missed a sitter to win the match against Manica Diamonds at the weekend.
With the match petering to a goalless draw, the reigning Rookie of the Year was guilty of one of the misses of the season when he was picked by an Issa Sadiki reverse pass inside the box, only to completely miss the ball on an empty net from a metre out.
After the referee blew to end the match, an emotional Bakari burst into tears.
He had to be comforted by his teammates and members of the technical team as he headed back to the dressing room.
Ahead of Dynamos' epic clash against Highlanders at Barbourfields this afternoon, Maroto took to Twitter with some supportive words for the young striker who has netted just one goal since arriving at the club at the start of the season.
Maroto, the last player to breach the 20-goal mark in the domestic league when he netted 22 for Gunners way back in 2010, is hoping that Bakari, on-loan at the Harare giants from WhaWha, won't be affected by the mistake and will continue to improve in a Dynamos shirt.
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"I have missed more than the ones I scored," Maroto posted. "And the miss by the young striker won't even surprise me. He just has to keep getting into those positions, he will get it right," added Maroto who is now working as an IT officer at the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe after hanging his boots a few years ago.
Bakare, who endeared himself with the Dynamos supporters after netting the insurance goal in the 2-0 victory against Caps United last month, has a golden chance to redeem himself this afternoon if he is given a chance against his team's biggest rival.
Dynamos coach Herbert Maruwa is also standing by Bakari.
"He did well in terms of positioning himself but somehow he missed the ball completely. We will keep on pushing him and try to improve his precision inside the box," Maruwa said. Dynamos are heading into the match on the back of three goalless draws, as their strikers continue to fire blanks.
Maruwa says he still has faith in his strikers and believes they will start finding the back of the net soon, starting with the match against Highlanders today.
"I'm not worried, and the good thing is we are playing well. We just need to work on the second line of our attack. Goals will come," Maruwa assured.
Dynamos will be once again without captain Frank Makarati who has been ruled out of action for about six weeks after suffering a fractured toe.
Just like Dynamos, Highlanders are also going into the match on the back of a run of three straight draws and their problem has also been the lack of goals.
In their last three matches, Highlanders played to two goalless draws against promoted sides Sheasham and Simba Bhora before they needed a second half penalty against Cranborne Bullets to earn a 1-1 draw last week.
Bosso will be without midfielder Devine Mhindirira who is nursing a fractured finger, but welcome back highly-rated 17-year-old attacking midfielder Prince Ndlovu, who was in Austria for month-long trials.
Both teams can shoot to the top of the log table with a win as Highlanders currently sit on second spot with 17 points, the same as leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars. A draw could also be enough for Bosso to take charge of the title race.
Dynamos have accumulated 14 points so far this term and can join the early pacesetters if they collect maximum points.
Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara