The Herald (Harare)

22 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Dembare Wary of Monoz

Photo: Confederation of African Football.
The Zimbabwean Dynamos Football Club

HOLDERS Dynamos are wary of the fact that Monomotapa pose a potential banana skin to their dreams of another double and have resolved to take a cautious approach to their Mbada Diamonds Cup final showdown against their city rivals at Rufaro on Saturday. Dynamos, crowned Premiership champions last Sunday, are eyeing their second successive double by claiming the Mbada Diamonds Cup at their favourite hunting ground - Rufaro - on Saturday.

The Glamour Boys have underlined their dominance of the domestic game by not only defending their league title, but by also reaching the second edition of the Mbada Diamonds final and moving within 90 minutes of retaining the country's richest knockout competition.

DeMbare's fine run has also meant that they have held on to both the mantle of league champions and the Cup Kings tag.

The Glamour Boys will also go into battle on the back of a comeback 2-1 victory over Monoz in the two teams' previous meeting at the same venue on November 4.

While it is Dynamos who appear to have the edge and are odds on favourites to retain the Mbada Cup on Saturday, their team manager Richard Chihoro revealed yesterday that they were actually wary of the threat posed by Monoz.

Chihoro said Monoz were like wounded lions going into the battle and would want to avenge for the loss in the league assignment.

The Dynamos team manager said Monoz were playing some good football and saw how they wrecked Highlanders' league aspirations when they thrashed the Bulawayo giants 3-0 at Rufaro with Osbourne Mukuradare grabbing a hat-trick.

Chihoro -- who has been around the Dynamos dressing room for more than five years now -- said it was important that their players kept their concentration levels high throughout the game.

"We are expecting a tough match as you know Monomotapa are a good side with a lot of exciting youngsters," said Chihoro.

Monomotapa have been in top form this season and they beat FC Platinum 1-0 at Sakubva at the weekend to secure a berth in the final.

This is a huge leap from last season when they were booted out in the first round by Motor Action.

Monoz turned on the style and handed Highlanders their first and only defeat of the season that swung the championship pendulum in Dynamos' favour.

But on Saturday, Biggie Zuze and his men are not likely to do Dynamos any favours, what with the rich pickings that come with winning the Mbada Diamonds Cup.

Chihoro was also full of praise for Monomotapa's work ethic.

"They are a complete side and if you look at our last match against them, you can see they have great potential.

"If that team is kept together for the next four years or so I can tell you they will go far.

"But Dynamos is a big institution and usually most teams get motivated by playing against us.

"So it's something that we grow up to know not to underestimate anyone.

"As big boys, we will stick to our normal game and play like champions but it's not going to be easy for us," said Chihoro.

Chihoro said the Harare giants were not relaxing after winning the Premiership title but were actually using their championship as an inspiration to do the same in the Mbada Cup.

"We won the league championship last week and we are not getting carried away by our triumph but it will inspire us to win this cup for the second year running. It would be history," Chihoro said.

Chihoro said apart from long term casualties like Devon Chafa, they had the bulk of their side availkable for selection.

Diminutive midfielder Milton Makopa has also since resumed training but coach Callisto Pasuwa is highly unlikely to take chances and throw him into the final given that he has been on the sidelines for a long time.

"Everyone is ready and raring to go. There are no injury worries in the squad besides that of Devon Chafa, but Milton Makopa has started some light training.

"He will not, however, feature at the weekend in this crucial match," said Chihoro.

Chafa's season ended prematurely after he sustained a broken jaw after coming worse off a challenge from Highlanders' Mthulisi Maphosa in the Battle of Zimbabwe II at Rufaro.

Apart from Chafa, Dynamos have also had to make do without tough centreback Guthrie Zhokinyi who was handed a life ban by Zifa for his alleged involvement in the Asiagate scam.

Zhokinyi -- who is contesting the ban -- yesterday officially appealed against the sentence by paying the US$6 000 appeal fees at Zifa.

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