WHENEVER and wherever they play for whatever, the clashes between Dynamos and Caps United are more than just football matches, there is always more at stake.
Today’s ZNA Commander Charity Shield semi-final clash at the National Sports Stadium is no exception.
High-flying Highlanders and FC Platinum feature in the other semi-final at Barbourfields.
All matches kick off at 3pm with the cheapest ticket pegged at US$2.
However, much of the spotlight is on a unique Harare Derby and, as expected, both camps are unleashing boastful jibes.
Caps United have lived in the shadows of their more vocal and successful neighbours over the past five years.
It is something that hurts the club’s faithful and their coach Taurai Mangwiro, a DeMbare son, appreciates that he will not earn his stripes until he leads Caps United to a victory over Dynamos.
Mangwiro is without influential wingbacks Ronald Pfumbidzai and Hardlife Zvirekwi, who are on national duty, while veteran ’keeper Tafadzwa Dube (ankle) is a doubtful starter.
Skipper Tapiwa Kumbuyani (ankle) is also out of the tie while the duo of Ishmael Thindwa and Madaliso Mwanza has been given time off to sort out family issues back in Malawi and Zambia respectively.
Mangwiro is, however, not perturbed and believes the time has come for Caps United to exorcise the ghost that has haunted his side for years.
“As Caps we always treasure these games against DeMbare and I urge the fans to come in their thousands to cheer us on as we try to break this jinx.
“As football people we do not live in the past and records are there to be broken.
“So many records have been broken against us, the same way we have also broken records,” he said.
From the blue corner comes a Dynamos outfit whose stand-in gaffer, Philemon Mutyakureva, is out to prove a point.
Mutyakureva is Kallisto Pasuwa’s right hand man, but many at Dynamos doubt his pedigree hence the perennial call for the appointment of a “qualified assistant coach.”
Pasuwa, however, has stood by his man, telling the Dynamos executive that Mutyakureva is one of the most qualified coaches in the land.
On his part Mutyakureva is relishing the prospect of leading his charges into a clash with the ultimate enemy.
“Every game is important but this one, for obvious reasons, becomes more vital and one that we can’t afford to lose,” he said.
“I am relishing this rare chance of leading the team against Makepekepe and hoping that we maintain our dominance over them.
“Nothing is really new, I am used to it because we are always working together with Pasuwa and even in his absence I know what has to be done.”
Apart from the trio of goalkeeper George Chigova, defensive rock Partson Jaure and the workaholic Stephen Alimenda who are with the Warriors, DeMbare are also missing defensive link-man Devon Chafa and rising striker Anesu Gondo through injury.
Tall centre-back Sydney Linyama, who injured his right leg in the Warriors camp, long-term injury casualties Tawanda Muparati and Masimba Mambare, are also out of the derby.
J. Muchambo, D. Mukandi, A. Nhongo, D. Chipala, S. Makatuka, T. Samanja, M. Muchenje, C. Mukanhairi, D. Chungwa, P. Zimunya, L. Fiyado.
A. Mukandi, B. Moyo, O. Mushure, T. Ndlovu, A. Mbara, D. Magorimbo, T. Rusike, O. Machapa, T. Mabvura, W. Mukanga, S. Sithole.
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