19 April 2018

Zimbabwe: Ocean's Derby Defiance

DYNAMOS might be languishing at the bottom end of the standings after failing to win any of their opening six matches of the new season, but skipper Ocean Mushure insists that statistics won't affect them in any way when they tackle old foes CAPS United at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

DeMbare will approach the 41st Harare Derby with their fans in restless mood and the players low on confidence after their worst start to a Premiership season that has seen them just manage three draws in six assignments.

Should they lose to bitter rivals CAPS United they could stretch their record for their worst start to the year as that would mean seven games without a win. But Mushure believes that all their troubles will pale into insignificance when they come face-to-face with their bitter city rivals.

The versatile Warriors defender instead warned CAPS United against reading too much into the problems that have rocked their start to the season.

He said DeMbare have the character to rise in the derby and could end their barren run with victory over CAPS United that also guarantees the winner the bragging rights in the capital.

"It's not a secret that we are struggling as a team. It is almost always the case in the initial stages of the league marathon in recent years with us.

"We struggle to get into the groove. But, here is an opportunity to reassert our pledge, to win critical acclaim and to show the world that we are Dynamos.

"We have had a very slow start to the season as compared to CAPS United, who have since collected nine points and are lying in a respectable position on the log.

"We are in the bottom section, second from last which is unacceptable at Dynamos. We urgently need to rise up and start to move up the table as you already know that our mission this season is not to be among the top sides, but we want to win the league title.

"I know CAPS United will approach this match thinking Dynamos have become the league's punching bags, but we are far from that and it's a derby.

"As it stands, we look like the underdogs, but we are not. We are at par with CAPS United and we have enjoyed some dominance over them in the past years. There were games which Dynamos won when CAPS United were highly favoured to prevail because of their position on the log, but we ended up winning. It can be the case now because we want to win this match at all cost," Mushure said. Mushure also predicted an epic encounter on Sunday.

"Matches between Dynamos and CAPS United are always explosive and I think this one is no different. We want it more than anything else. We want to start winning to go up the table and we have no time to respect opponents. This is Dynamos and we don't care what CAPS United are capable of doing, what we are only concerned about is to win the match. If we start winning especially starting with the match against CAPS, then we will ease the pressure mounting on us as players and our coach.

"We are all united as a team. We know the team has disappointed their legion of followers, but in the Harare Derby, we promise to do well. We are seeking a first league win of the season and it will be very encouraging to find it against our utmost rivals," Mushure said.

DeMbare's poor run has also divided opinion with some of the club's followers sympathising with coach Lloyd Mutasa and blaming the slow start on the management team led by president Kenny Mubaiwa.

On Sunday, Dynamos had to battle from behind to force a 1-1 draw against lowly Yadah Stars in an incident-packed match that suffered several disruptions, including a 20-minute delay to restart after a police officer accidentally discharged a teargas canister.

The Premier Soccer League yesterday issued a statement on the disturbances that characterised the Dynamos against Yadah encounter in which DeMbare were the home team.

PSL communications officer Kudzai Bare, said while they were worried with what took place at the game, they were still to receive reports from Dynamos and the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

"The PSL is concerned with disturbances that interrupted the Yadah FC v Dynamos FC match played at Rufaro stadium on April 15, 2018.

"We have received the referees' report, however, we are awaiting reports from the match commissioner (Cosmas Chafa) and Dynamos FC on what transpired during the said match.

"We further advise that we have written to the Zimbabwe Republic Police seeking clarification on why they released tear smoke inside the stadium during the match.

"We will issue a statement after we have reviewed the said reports. We would like to remind our stakeholders that our stadia should remain peaceful spaces where fans can enjoy the beautiful game of football," Bare said.

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