26 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Pasuwa Impressed

DYNAMOS coach, Callisto Pasuwa, believes Francisco Zekumbawira made a huge impression in his debut for the Glamour Boys during the final leg of the Bob '89 Super Cup against Highlanders at Rufaro on Sunday.

The rangy forward, who is on loan from Hwange, delayed joining DeMbare because of complications related to the payment for his services.

Chipangano insisted that Zekumbawira would only be given the green-light to feature for Dynamos after the league champions had paid the full US$15 000 for the loan deal.

Last week DeMbare chairman Kenny Mubaiwa revealed that his executive nearly gave up on pursuing Zekumbawira as Hwange insisted on a one-off payment while they wanted to pay in instalments.

"There were times when we thought we should just drop the deal altogether but since we had registered him for the Champions League, we felt we should just run around and pay up," said Mubaiwa.

"Our proposal was to service the debt, in instalments, but Hwange insisted that they wanted their money in full and it ended up taking this long.

"Unfortunately, when such issues dominate the media it ends up putting the player under a lot of pressure.

"So we just want him to feel at home and play to the best of his abilities."

On Sunday, in the showdown between the country's two biggest football clubs, the forward was thrown into the deep end.

Dynamos, who were enjoying a 2-1 lead from the first leg, marched to a convincing 4-0 victory over their rivals after blowing them off the park in the first half.

Striker Patrick Khumbula, who appears revitalised on his return to the Glamour Boys after a year spent in the wilderness of Division One football, scored a brace to continue his storming start to the new campaign.

Khumbula looks a completely different player from the seemingly misfit who first arrived at DeMbare and looked out of depth with the challenges of playing for such a team.

He says he is now mature and ready to handle the challenge.

Defender Partson Jaure scored his goal for Dynamos in as many games before Highlanders' Simon Munawa beat his own goalkeeper as he attempted to clear from the box.

Zekumbawira is registered for the Champions League and is eligible to feature in the preliminary round, reverse fixture against Lesotho Correctional Services in Maseru on Sunday.

Dynamos enjoy a 3-0 win from the first leg of the preliminary round after Tawanda Muparati, Jaure and Boban Zirintusa scored at Rufaro against the Lesotho prison warders, who have never gone beyond this stage.

Pasuwa said he was impressed by Zekumbawira.

"I think he did very well, considering that it was his first game for Dynamos," said Pasuwa.

"Before the game, we had told him that his first touch would be key and I encouraged him to try to hold and then make the pass.

"He did that well, considering that it was his first game and the fans were expecting something from him."

Zekumbawira could be thrust into the role of chief striker at Dynamos, depending on how things unfold, but Khumbula is fighting his case while young Farai Mupasiri, from whom a lot is expected, continues to struggle with injuries.

Zekumbawira created DeMbare's first goal when his effort was parried back into play by goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda but Khumbula was at hand to score from the rebound.

"We will see how he does at training during the week," said Pasuwa.

"Zekumbawira was good at holding the ball upfront and I think we would need one such player when we go to Lesotho for the return leg."

Yesterday Dynamos were officially presented with the Bob '89 Super Cup during a function at State House by President Robert Mugabe.

Pasuwa said winning the Bob '89 Super Cup was a positive start to their season as the competition had rich pickings for his team.

"The Bob Super Cup is one of the biggest competitions, in terms of its prize money," said Pasuwa.

"It was very competitive and played over two legs.

"So it's a big cup and we wanted to win it."

During the match on Sunday, Dynamos played with two holding midfielders in Stephen Alimenda and Devon Chafa as he continues to play around with his combinations.

"I think we had about 90 percent of our players who are registered for the Champions League and it's a positive development.

"That is the reason why we had to field Zekumbawira so that we can assess him," said Pasuwa.

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