Dynamos vice-captain Emmanuel Jalai is optimistic that his side will finally pass the FC Platinum hurdle in the Chibuku Super Cup knockout stages when the two clash in the quarter-finals at Mandava Stadium this afternoon.
FC Platinum knocked Dynamos out of the Chibuku Cup in the last two editions, winning 1–0 courtesy of an Innocent Mucheneka long-range strike in the semi-finals in 2021 before a penalty shootout victory in the last eight stage last year.
The Zvishavane-based platinum miners were the eventual winners of the competition back in 2021 while they lost to Herentals in the semi-finals last year. Dynamos have found the going tough in the premier knockout competition since its return on the local scene a decade ago and they want to change that.
“It’s a cup game and we have to be prepared for the task because it’s not going to be an easy game. We have been training very well, so I am hoping for a positive outcome. We faced them twice in the knockout stages in the previous two editions of Chibuku but like I said it’s a cup game, anything can happen. We’ve to put all our efforts as a team,” Jalai told Newsday Sport
Jalai has been one of the top performers at the club with Dynamos boasting of the second best defence in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League at this stage, having conceded 10 goals in 23 matches.
The rightback said that the club is targeting to reach the final of the Chibuku Cup.
“I basically want to help the team to fight for silverware. Of course, we want to reach the (Chibuku Cup) final, but it’s not going to be easy at all. We have to work as a team to reach that goal,” he said.
Dynamos are going into the battle without head coach Genesis Mangombe as well as two of their best midfielders Tanaka Shandirwa and Donald Mudadi who are away on national duty.
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FC Platinum have two players, Soccer Star of the Year Walter Musona and Brian Banda on national assignment as well.
Coach Norman Mapeza is wary of the challenge posed by Dynamos.
“It’s not going to be easy and if you look at our history with them, we met four times in the Chibuku Super Cup.
“Starting in 2016, when we lost, we played them in 2021 and we won in Harare, it was 1-0. We played again in 2022, then wewon on penalties in Harare. Then we lost to Herentals in the semi-finals,” he said.
"This is a cup game. It's a different game from the league. Dynamos haven't won this tournament, so it might be their chance to win it.
“The same goes for us. We have won it twice but we still want more. If we do well on Saturday [today], we hope to do it againin the semi-finals and as well as the final. We know what is at stake and we will give our all to win and proceed to the next level,” Mapeza said.