9 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Mother of All Derbies

AFTER Dynamos claimed rights to the "Zora Butter" dance, rivals Caps United have since responded by claiming the "Chop My Money" song and dance, but who will be dancing when the referee blows the final whistle of their Mbada Diamonds Cup semifinal contest at Barbourfields stadium on Sunday?

It will be the first time that the big Harare derby is played outside the capital and the stakes high.

The bitter rivals clash in the money spinning competition's semifinal, whose mega prize of US$250 000 should ensure a feisty clash.

The competition is the only chance of silverware for Caps with Dynamos seemingly destined for the league title, although Highlanders are still in with a shout.

Caps' recent record against Dynamos this term -- two defeats and no goals scored -- is a chin-scratcher for coach Mkhupali Masuku.

Caps have been trying to play fluent football while Dynamos are more worried about getting wins no matter how ugly.

Of the two clashes the first was a closely contested affair at Rufaro with Dynamos stealing the points right at the death through a Tawanda Muparati strike. But in the second dynamos met little resistance on their way to 3-0 win at the National Sports Stadium.

Dynamos assistant coach Tonderai Ndiraya expects this cup tie to be very tough.

"This match will be bruising; it is difficult to beat an opponent like Caps over and over again," said Ndiraya. "We expect them to come out fighting; there is a lot at stake. Caps want to play in Africa and they also want to hit back after the last couple of losses.

"Cup ties are always difficult no matter who you are playing, so this game is going to be difficult for both teams, but we are working hard and come Sunday we will be ready."

Dynamos will need to dig deep with a taxing schedule that will see another important and tough match against Buffaloes on Wednesday, before they conclude the season at Hardbody next weekend.

Caps have had their fair share of troubles this season capped with the loss of head coach Taurai Mangwiro to the Asiagate scandal.

New coach Mkhupali Masuku will have to coax the best out of his consistent performers such as Hardlife Zvirekwi if they are to upstage DeMbare. Winger Rahman Kutsanzira returns to Barboufields where he made his name while playing for Highlanders. But after starting off brightly he has since lost consistency and must prove doubters wrong.

Dynamos have quality in their ranks, and can chop and change, replacing quality with quality. They have many options especially upfront where they have the luxury of picking two from four good strikers in former Caps United poster boy Simba Sithole, Farai Mupasiri, Rodrick Mutuma and Martin Vengesai.

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