The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Pasuwa Admits Crisis

DYNAMOS coach Callisto Pasuwa has admitted there is a crippling striking crisis at the Harare soccer giants that is threatening to scupper their African Champions League campaign. The coach's plans were thrown into disarray early this week when Dynamos lost two of their key strikers to South African sides.

DeMbare lost forward Simba Sithole to SuperSport United while Roderick Mutuma is set to join Bloemfontein Celtic.

In fact, Sithole's move to SuperSport United was finalised yesterday and the young striker is now set to turn out for the Pretoria-based side when the South African Premiership resumes after the 2013 African Cup of Nations tournament on February 10.

The two players - Mutuma and Sithole - had been registered for the continent's main inter-club competition and the latest developments have left the Premiership Coach of the Year with no recognisable striker to lead his attack.

Another striker, Martin Vengesayi has left the club after failing to agree on terms for a renewal of his contract while Fransceco Zekumbawire is yet to join the side.

The tall Warriors trialist is coming on loan from Hwange while the only available forward in the Dynamos camp, Farai Mupasiri, is nursing an injury.

"We had assembled a very formidable outfit but due to circumstances beyond our control, things are changing for us," said Pasuwa.

Sithole is returning to the Super Diski seven months after he left Mamelodi Sundowns while Mutuma is making his biggest move in his professional career while at the same time Dynamos are still to finalise their acquisition of Zekumbawire from Hwange.

In two weeks time, Dynamos plunge into the African Champions League when they take on Lesotho Correctional Services and Pasuwa is having sleepless nights over his striking department ahead of the continental tournament. The Champions League slots for Vengesayi, Mutuma and Sithole have gone to waste and Dynamos had made a precaution against registering Denver Mukamba who has since moved to BidVests Wits.

The deadline for late registration of players for the 2013 Champions League is closing today but this does not literally translate to Dynamos expecting money from the sales of Sithole and Mutuma being used to getting able replacements.

After all, Dynamos will not be getting the whole chunk from the transactions.

Pasuwa is now rushing against time as he only has until 12 midnight today to get two quality strikers who he can register for the Champions League.

Dynamos used veteran Murape Murape as the lone striker in their recent preparatory matches against Black Rhinos, Triple B and Division One newcomers Mushowani. The lack of fire-power up-front has been exposed in three games as Dynamos have managed to score four goals against Mushowani with Tichaona Mabvura and Ugandan Boban Ziruntusa scoring a brace each while the matches against Premiership side Triple B and Rhinos ended in goalless draws.

Pasuwa believes while the moves being made by Sithole and Mutuma are positive for their careers, he does not underestimate the negative impact they have left on his squad, especially for the Champions League.

"The changes are having a negative impact on our team's preparations.

"Our list had five slots for strikers and these are Roderick (Mutuma), Simba (Sithole), Martin (Vengesayi), Fransceco (Zekumbawire)and young Farai (Mupasiri).

"Of these players only Farai is available but he has an injury while Franscesco is yet to report for training and it's very unfortunate," said Pasuwa.

For the 25 players registered in the Champions League, Dynamos have also lost Aaron Katebe to FC Platinum while at one stage Pasuwa only had 15 of the 25 players registered for the African Safari reporting for training.

And within these 15 players, three are goalkeepers - George Chigova, Artwell Mukandi and Tatenda Mukuruva.

Going into the battle with a depleted squad, Pasuwa is hoping for the best and believes he will now look at other options possible.

"As for everything that comes to the worst, we have to come with Plan B but our biggest challenge is the time-frame at hand," said Pasuwa.

At one time Dynamos tried out Evans Gwekwerere and Benjamin Marere but it's uncertain if the players would reunite with their team soon when it desperately needs personnel upfront.

"I think most people would agree that losing Denver (Mukamba), Rody (Mutuma), Martin (Vengesayi) and Simba (Sithole) is just like losing the backbone of our team. They had age on their side.

"But we plead with our fans to be patient with us," said Pasuwa.

As they continue to prepare for the African Safari, Dynamos will hope to use the match against Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday in Harare to fine-tune their preparations before the Champions League games.

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