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Ndiraya rallies DeMbare

Soccer
DeMbare qualified to the quarter-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup with a 1-0 win over Black Rhinos on Sunday.

BY HENRY MHARA DYNAMOS coach Tonderai Ndiraya wants to see his team improve its performance when the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League kicks off at the weekend.

DeMbare qualified to the quarter-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup with a 1-0 win over Black Rhinos on Sunday.

Despite the good run that has seen them go unbeaten in the cup competition so far, Ndiraya still sees room for improvement.

They joined FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars and Cranborne Bullets into the last four.

The draw for the semi-finals is set to be conducted this week.

Ndiraya, whose side is yet to lose a game in the 11 matches played up to this stage of the competition, said he was ready to take on any opponent.

“I’m quite happy to meet any of the teams in the semi-finals. If you want to be the best, then you have to play against the best and beat the best, so we await the draw,” he said.

“Eleven games means in a league format, we could be approaching the halfway stage of the season, so it hasn’t been easy for us, but I’m glad that we have done well so we wait for our opponents in the next stage of the tournament.”

Dynamos were in Group 1 which contained six teams, while other pools had four.

Ndiraya believes his team’s tepid performance on Sunday was as a result of fatigue, which he said could be starting to creep in.

They put a disjointed display against Rhinos, and did just enough to scrap past the army side.

“We are taking it game by game. We have done well so far and after playing 11 games, we are the only team remaining in the last four who have played so many games,” Ndiraya said.

“The rest of the teams have played seven games, so I feel because of the fitness issues, at some point, the players will look a bit tired. So in terms of freshness, the other teams which are still participating still have some more energy in them. But we have tried from our end to rotate our players and we can still go in there with a lot of confidence and put up a very good fight.”

But before worrying about who they will face in the semis, the DeMbare mentor has to prepare his side for the start of the league season at the weekend.

The league season is returning for the first time since 2019 when it was suspended due to COVID-19.

Dynamos, looking for their first league title since 2014, will kick off the season with a tricky clash against Yadah at home.

“We can have confidence going forward, but certainly we need to improve and polish up before the start of the big games (league). We are in the last four of the Chibuku, but our focus has to shift now and get to another level for the league which is starting in a few days,” Ndiraya said.

“We want to keep the momentum going, we want to keep winning games. We want to keep getting more clean sheets and moving forward. It’s not like we are starting from scratch. For us, it’s a continuation of the games. We want to keep our boys focussed.”

Dynamos’ good run so far has been credited to the brilliance of their defenders.

Led by captain Patson Jaure, the DeMbare wall has conceded just twice in 11 games in the Chibuku Super Cup tournament, and Ndiraya will be hoping they continue with that imperious form going into the league season.

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