BY HENRY MHARA/FORTUNE MBELE DYNAMOS will field their strongest squad in Monday’s Independence Trophy final clash against Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo, with Bosso pledging to win it for their demanding fans.
The blockbuster clash will conclude the Independence Day festivities, which are traditionally held in Harare, but will this time be held in the City of Kings and Queens.
There were concerns that Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya, whose side is involved in the tussle for the premier league title, would rest some first-teamers and give fringe players game time.
However, the coach has assured supporters that are expected to fill Barbourfields to expect to see the likes of stars including man of the moment Bill Antonio, Emmanuel Paga and Frank Makarati in the starting line-up.
“This is a cup final against Highlanders, who are our biggest rivals so it’s obviously an important match for this club. This is not the time to rest players, but to be competitive and show respect to the occasion. We will field the strongest possible squad,” Ndiraya told NewsDay Sport.
“We understand the importance of the cup. We are the current holders so we are very eager to take the cup to Bulawayo and bring it back to Harare. Hopefully, we can do that. It’s a game that we are taking seriously, a competition that is very important to us as a team because of what it represents.”
Dynamos are the defending champions after beating the same opponent 2-0 the last time. The two traditional rivals were handpicked to participate in the cup final.
“Our preparations have been good, we are ready to travel. We are going to finish our preparations in Bulawayo. We have done all our work and what is left is for us to play the game on Monday. We are celebrating 42 years of independence and that is very important to us as a club. For us to enjoy the peace that we have, and to express the talent that we have, it is through the sacrifice of the gallant sons and daughters who lost their lives during the liberation struggle. We want to win this cup for them,” said Ndiraya, who revealed that his father died in the liberation war.
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Dynamos have been buoyed for the trip to Bulawayo by the return of defender Stephen Appiah who missed the team’s last two matches due to injury.
Meanwhile, Highlanders have vowed to lift the Independence Day Trophy for their fans.
Dynamos dismissed Highlanders 2-0 to lift the 2021 Independence Trophy at the National Sports Stadium following a defensive howler by Peter Muduhwa and goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda who gifted DeMbare the second goal, but the duo yesterday said history would not repeat itself on Monday.
Highlanders won it in 2019 and the competition was not held in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country hard with all sporting activities suspended.
Sibanda said he was looking forward to a positive outcome for his team on Monday.
“I am looking forward to having a positive result on Monday. We have forgotten about what is in the past; it’s the past. We want to have the cup here in Bulawayo,” Sibanda said.
“We are preparing very well. It is going to be a difficult game but we have to make it a point that we make our community happy. We know what is at stake and it is going to be a good game.”
Muduhwa admitted that they face a tough game against their rivals.
“I think we will win on Monday. It is our trophy. We will have to fight in this game and everyone has to put maximum effort. We have to work hard and get this trophy,” Muduhwa said.
Nqobizitha Masuku missed the last Highlanders’ league game against Cranborne Bullets which ended 2-2 at BF due to injury sustained in their previous game against Triangle at Gibbo, but he hopes to make it on Monday.
“We take positives from the previous game. It was a disappointing result at home, playing a draw against Cranborne. I am not disrespecting them, but if you are playing for Highlanders you have to win those matches but nonetheless we are focused. I am getting better on the injury; hopefully I will be available for the Monday match. It is a big game for the Highlanders family; we have to bring our ‘A’ game and hope to win the game. There are no two ways,” Masuku said.
The two teams go into camp today which was organised by the Sports and Recreation Commission and there will be a roadshow on Sunday.
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