17 May 2013

Zimbabwe: Finger to Pull Trigger

AT about this time last year, Taurai Mangwiro and Tawanda Nyamandwe were celebrating a success story, having floored champions Dynamos in a spectacular smash-and-grab mission, while working for Monomotapa.

Nyamandwe - known to the fans as Finger - appears to reserve his best for the Glamour Boys and was the hero after firing home a priceless, last-gasp goal that gave Monoz maximum points at Rufaro.

Fast forward 13 months and the two find themselves working together again, for a different employer, while the opponent remains the same.

On Sunday, Mangwiro and his hitman take on the Glamour Boys once again in a Harare Derby that has generated so much interest it could attract a capacity crowd to the National Sports Stadium.

Nyamandwe yesterday was not a bearer of good news for the Dynamos camp as he weighed his chances of inflicting yet another painful defeat on the Harare giants.

A former Dynamos player himself, Nyamandwe failed to blossom in the pressure cooker of the Glamour Boys where expectations are high and patience is alien to the fans who believe in this team.

"It's my job to score goals and that is what I am paid to do. If the coaches select me to play then I will be working hard to score or, at least, help the team," said Nyamandwe.

Nyamandwe has faced Dynamos before but never in the explosive atmosphere of the Harare Derby.

"This is a very big game for everyone in the local league. I have played against Dynamos before and know that they are a big side and now I am at CAPS United which are also a big club," he said.

"So far I have scored two goals in the league this season and the feeling is good that I should be able to play well on Sunday."

Nyamandwe said he will not dwell much into history that CAPS United have been struggling against their rivals since Lloyd Chitembwe led them to a 2-0 win in April 2009. "Now we have new players and we should not be concerned about the past but try to break new ground for CAPS United," he said.

CAPS United skipper Tapiwa Khumbuyani said they have suffered enough humiliation at the hands of their rivals over the past three years and vowed that its time the Green Machine will come out tops.

Khumbuyani feels they have wind in their sail and this could be the game where they make their statement against their biggest rivals.

"We have prepared very well and everything is okay on our side. The spirit is very high. Everyone is putting 100 percent effort for us to get a positive result on Sunday," said Khumbuyani.

Last year, CAPS United were treated to a sumptuous dinner at a five-star hotel in the capital to psyche them up for the Derby but still they were beaten, if not humiliated, as goals from Cliff Sekete, Guthrie Zhokinyi and Farai Mupasiri condemned them to a heavy defeat.

This time around, the Green Machine have chosen to remain modest in their preparations at Danny Bismark, praying that the football gods will be in their corner come Sunday.

"In the past matches we had the upper hand but then we were letting in some simple goals," said Khumbuyani. I think that we have worked hard to plug some of the weaknesses."

CAPS are hoping that veteran goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube can help them withstand the barrage of attacks the same way he did against Triangle at Gibbo last week, when he made crucial saves to deny the hosts.

Joseph Mutambiranwa rose from the bench to drill the priceless goal that gave CAPS the win and Khumbuyani feels that victory on the road was a good motivator.

"The win against Triangle has boosted our confidence in the run up to the game against Dynamos

"It's a morale booster because winning away in Triangle was not an easy thing to do.

"Right now everyone is fit and raring to go for this game," said Khumbuyani.

CAPS United are likely to face their former skipper, Washington Pakamisa, but Khumbuyani said they should not give too much attention to him.

Pakamisa has been in fine form and some reports indicate that he has been placed on the radar by South African clubs like Amazulu where Highlanders striker Masimba Mambare is having trials.

"This match is not about Washy (Pakamisa) but the whole Dynamos. We do not want to lose focus of the game by concentrating on shutting out Washy when we are playing Dynamos as a team. Players are able to change clubs from time to time and transfers occur every year. So the match should not be about CAPS United facing Pakamisa but it's about the clubs," he said.

In their ranks, CAPS United have recruited former Dynamos skipper George Magariro to steady their defence while they also have exciting Ronald Pfumbidzai, who is also upbeat on their chances in his first clash against the league champions.

Khumbuyani yesterday urged their fans to rally behind their team as they hope to end their bad spell against Dynamos.

"I urge our fans to come and rally behind the team as we strive to give 100 percent effort," said Khumbuyani.

The Green Machine coach Taurai Mangwiro yesterday said he was still sweating over the fitness of Rahman Kutsanzira.

"The doctors are still working on him and we will make another assessment," said Mangwiro.

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