Dynamos vs AS Vita …as How Mine face St Michel


THE separation of boys from men continues in the African Safari as the continental club competitions enter the round of 16 this weekend.
Zimbabwe’s champions Dynamos clash with DRC side AS Vita on Saturday at the National Sports Stadium in the first leg match of the Champions League while How Mine host Seychelles club, St Michel at Barbourfields (BF) on the same day.
Dynamos are playing in the Champions League, while ‘Chikurupati’ as How Mine are affectionately known, play in the Confederation Cup.
The two ambassadors of Zimbabwean soccer won in the preliminaries with the Confederation Cup debutants How Mine registering an impressive 6-1 win on aggregate against Chuoni FC of Zanzibar.
Dynamos outwitted the Batswana side Mochudi Centre Chiefs 4-1 on aggregate to proceed to the round of 16.
Dynamos now face a strong DRC side on home turf. The hosts must win the match to avoid pressure in the away fixture in Kinshasa a week later.
Dynamos have struggled in the away fixtures in the African Safari.The best they have managed is a draw in most away matches.
Since 2010, Dynamos have not won an away match in the African Safari.
Many will remember the half-a-dozen goals the Harare giants conceded in Tunisia against Esperance two years ago.
There are a lot of expectations from the legion of fans Dynamos command.
They are expecting nothing short of reaching the lucrative mini-league stage.
For Dynamos to reach that far, they have to face the DRC side and the winner between Liga Muculmana of Mozambique and Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa.
Dynamos have the boost of Devon Chafa who will be eligible to play in Saturday tie.
The talented defensive link was a marvel to watch last season before he was suspended after testing positive to banned substance – prednisone.
Chafa served a six months ban and is now available for selection in the game against the Congolese.
In the absence of Chafa, Stephen Alimenda used to play the role. However, the Zimbabwe international may find it difficult to fit in as he had limited game time.
Match fitness might be his problem for now.
He has not been playing as he was prohibited under the ban.
However, the decision lies with the technical team.
So far the defense despite the absence of Gift Bello, who left for greener pastures at FC Platinum, has been playing well in the two champions league matches conceding just one goal.
Partson Jaure and Sydney Linyama are likely to stand in the central defence.
Linyama’s height has been effective in dealing with aerial balls.
Ocean Mushure and Themba are on the sidelines due to illness and injury, leaving Victor Kamhuka as another centreback option.
George Chigova who will be joining Supersport United of South Africa is likely to stand between the posts tomorrow.
He was outstanding at the CHAN tournament in South Africa and his exploits caught the eye of Supersport United.
The gangly goalie will join former teammate Denver Mukamba at Supersport.
In the middle of the park, Ronald Chitiyo who scored his first goal for Dynamos in Gaborone will be another pearl to watch.
His ball control has caused all sorts of problems in the opposition and is likely to start.
Masimba Mambare who scored in his debut appearance for Dynamos is another midfield hopeful expected to combine with Tawanda Muparati, Russell Madamombe and Cliff Sekete.
In the strikeforce, three marksmen are on the CAF squad, Simba Sithole, Washington Pakamisa and Patrick Kumbula.
Sithole has been on the sidelines in the past two games as he was nursing an injury.
Pakamisa scored a brace in the first leg preliminary match against Mochudi Centre Chiefs, but fluffed numerous chances.
He played as a lone striker.
Dynamos will be out to attack and two strikers might be the answer to avoid pressure in the reverse fixture in Kinshasa.
How Mine will be playing their third Confederation Cup match at BF and have high hopes of progressing to the next stage.
The Philani Ncube-coached outfit have better chances of winning the two-legged tie against St Michel.
With a host of experienced players, How Mine should shrug off competition from the lowly-ranked Seychelles side.
Ephraim Mazarura, Gilbert Banda, Menard Mupera, Nyasha Mukumbi, George Magariro, Wonder Sithole and Nicholas Alifandika are some of the seasoned players at Ncube’s disposal.
Ncube will not try any luck with players, but field a strong team as the Bulawayo side aim to reach the mini-league stage in their debut African Safari journey.
Kuda Musharu has been an effective striker with three goals under his belt in two games.
The former Monomotapa striker is expected to score more goals for the gold miners.
The nation pins hope on the two sides to progress to the penultimate stages of the African Safari raising the Zimbabwean flag.
Other Champions League fixtures this weekend
Young Africans (Tanzania) – Al Ahly (Egypt);
Berekum Chelsea (Ghana) – Ahli Benghazi (Libya);
GorMahia (Kenya) – Esperance (Tunisia);
Enyimba (Nigeria) – AS Real (Mali);
Astres de Douala (Cameroon) – TP Mazembe (DR Congo);
B.Y.C (Liberia) – Sewe Sport (Cote d’Ivoire);
Dedebit (Ethiopia) – CS Sfaxien (Tunisia);
Horoya (Guinea) – Raja Casablanca (Morocco);
Flambeau de l’Est (Burundi) – Coton Sport (Cameroon);
Entente Setif (Algeria) – ASFA Yennenga (Burkina Faso);
StadeMalien (Mali) – El Hilal (Sudan);
AC Leopards (Congo) – Primeiro de Agosto (Angola);
Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa) – LigaMuçulmana (Mozambique);
Dynamos FC (Zimbabwe) – AS Vita Club (DR Congo);
Zamalek (Egypt) – Kabuscorp (Angola);
Nkana (Zambia) – Kampala City Council (Uganda).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here