19 February 2013

Zimbabwe/Lesotho: Dembare Outplayed Lesotho

ZIMBABWE football kings Dynamos outplayed and outscored Lesotho Correctional Services in the first leg of the preliminary round of the African Champions League at Rufaro on Sunday but the real test for DeMbare will come when they play in the first round.

Goals from skipper Tawanda Muparati, Boban Ziruntusa and Patson Jaure helped DeMbare to a comfortable 3-0 win over the Lesotho champions ahead of the second leg in Maseru on the weekend of March 1-3.

Muparati gave Dynamos the lead from a brilliant long range effort in the 20th minute before Ugandan international Zirintusa increased the lead when he headed in a cross from Thomas Magorimbo after 59 minutes.

Defender Jaure's thunderbolt free-kick in the 70th minute ensured the Harare giants carry a seemingly healthy advantage ahead of the return leg.Seasoned campaigners Dynamos are now expected to reach the first round while Lesotho Correctional Facilities, who have never gone beyond the preliminary round, will have to fight in another year.

While Dynamos are largely expected to prevail over the lightweights LCS, their real test will come in the first round when they play either Al Ittihad of Libya or CA Bizertin of Tunisia.

The Libyans once reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2007 while Bizertin won the old African Cup Winners Cup in 1988.

In the previous two editions, Dynamos have come unstuck against opposition from North Africa -- losing to MC Alger of Algeria in 2011 and then Esperance in 2012.

Jaure's goal was his first for Dynamos since the promising defender burst into the first team last season.

"To be frank, most of us didn't know what to expect from this Lesotho team. But now we have seen how they play. I don't see them troubling us in the return leg.

"We did well by not conceding here and we just hope to maintain that form," said Jaure.

He was literally thrown into the deep end in the Dynamos defence last year when the club was advised by Caf that Guthrie Zhokinyi was ineligible for the first round match against Liga Maculumana in March.

Yellow, as Jaure is affectionately known by the Dynamos fans, has become a key member of the defence but is now eager to score more goals this season. I am over the moon. This was my first goal for the team but I was not entirely surprised by that because I scored from similar positions during practice last Friday," he said.

"We were just doing what our coaches have told us to do. We knew we had no natural strikers upfront but goals still had to come. Coach (Pasuwa) has said it before and I also emphasised it last week that anyone in the team can score. I feel we could have done ourselves a huge favour by scoring more if we had taken all our chances," he said.

Zirintusa missed two clear chances while Murape Murape and Farai Muparsiri also came close to getting on the scoresheet.

LCS had their few chances at goal but in reality their skipper Khoto Sesinyi is aware that they will once again falter at the first hurdle.

Sesinyi was the first to admit that Dynamos taught them a football lesson at Rufaro after their game plan of containing the hosts backfired.

"It was a tough game, we did everything according to what we had planned but it couldn't work out.

"During the match, we played with one striker upfront because we only wanted to contain them here (Rufaro) and then play our normal game in the return leg.

"But it's unfortunate it went this way. Three goals are a bit too much and, yes, we are now under immense pressure to overturn this result.

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