28 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Ndiraya Bullish

DYNAMOS assistant coach Tonderayi Ndiraya is bullish ahead of their Champions League preliminary round encounter against Lesotho Correctional Services and believes the availability of more players should stand them in good stead to wrap up the tie.

The Glamour Boys will fly out to Maseru via Johannesburg in South Africa tomorrow carrying a healthy 3-0 advantage achieved in the first leg at Rufaro two weeks ago.

A goal each by skipper Tawanda Muparati, newboy Boban Zirintusa of Uganda and centre back Partson Jaure took the stuffing out of the Lesotho prisons outfit and helped Dynamos put one foot into the first round.

Although he was quick to point to the need to guard against complacency, Ndiraya also revealed satisfaction with the fact that unlike in the first leg, the Dynamos coaches would this week have a bigger pool of players from which to pick their travelling 18.

Ndiraya's confidence also seems to stem from the fact that they still managed to secure a comfortable win despite playing without a recognisable striker in the first leg.

DeMbare could not use rangy forward Francisco Zekumbawire as they were still negotiating for his release from Premiership rivals Hwange, while left back Ocean Mushure sat out because of an injury.

But Dynamos stepped up their preparations for the Champions League when they dismantled bitter rivals Highlanders 4-0 in a Bob'89 Super Cup tie on Sunday.

The 4-0 destruction of Highlanders could have sent more shivers in the Mashishina camp, who remain hopeful of staging a great comeback at Sesotho stadium.

Patrick Khumbula sunk a brace with Jaure weighing in with a free header before an own goal by Bosso defender Simon Munawa ensured Dyanmos completed a comprehensive 6-1 aggregate rout.

Returning striker - Khumbula - is ineligible for the early stages of the Champions League but Mushure and Zekumbawire are expected to add depth to the Zimbabwe league and cup champions.

Yesterday Dynamos stepped up their preparations with the technical team expressing a general satisfaction after a work-out session in the gym in the afternoon.

Ndiraya is now hopeful that Dynamos have got what it takes to reach the next round of the competition but was quick to warn the players to guard against completely writing off their opponents.

Should they progress as is largely expected, Dynamos are likely to play CAB of Tunisia or Al Ittihad of Libya in the first round.

The North African clubs featured in a 1-1 draw in a Maghreb derby clash in Tunisia a fortnight ago.

"We are going away, so anything can happen when you go to play away from home.

"So we are not relaxing and the players should never relax. The coach has been stressing the point of guarding against complacency and underrating the opponents," said Ndiraya.

Dynamos might have won by a seemingly comfortable margin in the first leg at Rufaro but Ndiraya believes that Lesotho Correctional Services have the potential to cause an upset.

"Lesotho Correctional Services are not an easy team as what some people might assume.

"When they came here, we saw some positives from that team. So its not going to be an easy game," said Ndiraya.

Ndiraya said the fact that LCS could afford to string a few build ups during the game meant that they could try to pull a few tricks at home.

"That (LCS) team could string a number of good passes and we saw some positives from them.

"You never know. They can cause an upset, so we should never relax but remain focused on this game before we look to the next stage," said Ndiraya.

Zekumbawire and Mushure are likely to make it into the travelling party that may include seasoned forward Murape Murape, Murapati, Jaure, Gift Bello and Zirintusa.

"I think we are going to make some changes from the team that played in the first leg since Franco (Zekumbawire) is now available.

"He is one of the players registered in the squad," said Ndiraya.

Currently, Dynamos have 22 players available for the competition and Pasuwa could be dropping goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva while Milton Makopa remains out because of illness.

"We have 22 players available and Francisco is one of these players were we are banking on. Obviously he should be in the squad, provided that, he passes the test.

"But we also are expecting Ocean (Mushure). He is back after missing the last game.

"He started training last week and this past week when we played Highlanders he was on the bench but was not used," said Ndiraya.

Meanwhile, reports from Maseru indicate Lesotho Correctional Services fans have already given up hope of progressing beyond the first round.

Munya Shanduka, a Zimbabwean resident in Maseru said Sesotho stadium was recently upgraded but is unlikely to be filled to the rafters.

"The stadium was recently upgraded and can take around 17 000 fans but the indications here are that a good number will stay away. People here follow South African teams like Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs more than they follow their local league or even Bloemfontein Celtic," said Shanduka.

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