13 February 2013

Lesotho/Zimbabwe: Lesotho Correctional Service Expected Today . . . Promise to Give Dembare a Good Run for Their Money

DYNAMOS opponents in the Caf Champions League preliminary round tie, Lesotho Correctional Service, are expected in the country today for Sunday's first leg clash at Rufaro. The Lesotho champions, who have been complaining of inadequate preparations, passed through Botswana where they were expected to engage Gaborone United in a practice match yesterday.

Dynamos vice-chairman Webster Chikengezha said they are expecting the visitors today.

"They are coming from Gaborone by road and we are expecting them any time tomorrow (today).

We have been talking to Zifa about their travel arrangements to help them manage their schedule so that they do not get here very late," said Chikengezha.

LCS are virtual minnows in the continent's premier knockout tournament as they lack experience at this level of competition.

Last year, they failed on the first hurdle when they lost to Uganda's Revenue Authority on a 3-0 aggregate scoreline.

The team's coach -- Mosholu Mokhothu -- told the Lesotho media before the team's departure for Zimbabwe that he faces a Herculean task against the Zimbabwean champions.

Their preparations for the crucial continental fixture were thrown into disarray last month after the cross-border tournament that was set to feature Kaizer Chiefs and Bloemfontein Celtic and four other local teams was called-off.

However, Mokhothu is confident that his side might be able to spring a surprise in Harare, buoyed by their success in the domestic competition where they have won two successive league titles.

"It's a big task, the players are aware that Dynamos is a great side with a rich history in the continental competition but they are determined to do well and fly the flag of our country high," Mokhothu said.

"We did not have the best preparations leading to this match considering that we have only played a friendly game against Free State Stars while our last league match was in December last year."

LCS will be without the duo of top striker Lawrence Molengoana and defender Paseka Morongoane, who are out through injuries.

LCS captain, Khoto Sesinyi, also said they are looking to put up a spirited performance against Dynamos despite facing a tricky tour.

"We expected to have friendly matches against teams that play a similar style of football to our opponents -- they believe in speed and physique -- but we didn't even have a single friendly match of that nature.

"Our expectations and hopes are to come back with a victory from Zimbabwe but it would have been better if we had at least one international friendly from a team from central Africa," said Sesinyi.

DeMbare have been drawn to start from the preliminary stage of this year's Champions League following a disappointing run in the last two editions of the tournament where they failed to reach the mini-league stage.

The Harare giants have played a number of practice games ahead of their assignment against LCS and are coming into the competition in high spirits following their 2-1 win over Highlanders in the first leg of the Bob '89 Super Cup at Barbourfields last Sunday.

They had played South Africa giants Mamelodi Sundowns in an international friendly and also faced local sides Black Rhinos and Triple B.

Coach Callisto Pasuwa's worries over his strikeforce, which fired blanks in these matches, appeared to have been averted when Patrick Khumbula and Tawanda Muparati scored in Bulawayo on Sunday.

DeMbare recently lost key forwards Simba Sithole and Roderick Mutuma to the lucrative South African Premiership and have been having nightmares upfront.

They will be hoping that Khumbula and newboy Allan Tavarwisa quickly adapt to the system since they have only been training for two weeks with the team.

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