Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
IN-FORM Dynamos striker, Takesure Chinyama, says the Glamour Boys have a national responsibility to represent the country well in Tunisia this weekend when they battle African champions Esperance. His coach, Callisto Pasuwa, said they
were plunging into the lion’s den.
DeMbare have to leap over the hurdle created by Africa’s best football club, last year, for them to reach the group stages of the Champions League.
The Zimbabwe champions have reached the group stages of the tournament on all but one of the seasons they have taken part in the tourney and, this year, they have to do it the hardest way possible.
The Dynamos travelling party, made up of 32 people, left Harare for Tunis yesterday with the big match set for Saturday.
Big striker, Chinyama, playing in his maiden African Champions League, has scored three goals in the first round and will carry the hopes of the Glamour Boys in their latest adventure.
Chinyama has been under the spotlight since his arrival at the Glamour Boys this season and acknowledged yesterday that they have a big game on their hands in Tunis this weekend.
“This is a big game because Esperance are the champions of Tunisia but we are the Zimbabwean champions,” said Chinyama.
“We respect them as a club but we are not going to put ourselves under pressure.
“It’s not about me alone but we are a team. I am not going to put pressure on myself to score goals. At the end of the day we want to bring back good results for our fans and everybody in Zimbabwe.”
The striker, who had a four-year stint in Europe, said he is excited by the prospect of leading DeMbare all the way but revealed he has little knowledge of North African football.
“It’s a new experience for me and the team. But it certainly doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about their football.
“But we will have to see what happens on Saturday,” said Chinyama.
The Dynamos travelling party is expected to arrive at their destination today.
Pasuwa said DeMbare were out to get a positive result, which will make life easier in the return leg set for Rufaro in a fortnight.
Pasuwa said the Harare giants were aware they are heading for a difficult assignment.
“We are going away into a lion’s den. We know Esperance and are they are the African champions so we have to approach the game cautiously.
“I have been telling the boys that we are playing the African champions. We can beat them at their home.
“We have to approach it cautiously in the first 45 minutes, playing with a congested midfield and later on we can open up the game in the second half.
“When we go out there we want to win but if we cannot then we aim to settle for a draw. That’s why we are saying we start off with a congested midfield and see how the game goes.
“I was talking to the doctor and he said by Thursday they (Chinyama and Milton Makopa) should be alright.
“Otherwise the rest of the team is 100 percent fit,” said Pasuwa.
Dynamos beat Mozambique’s Liga Muculmana 3-0 in the first round with all three goals coming from Chinyama.
Utility player Thomas Magorimbo has been dropped from the squad and replaced by Timire Mamvura.
There was also no place for Leo Kurauzvione while young midfielder Tichaona Mabvura was included in the final 18.
Esperance will also be looking for nothing short of a win especially after starting the second round campaign in their backyard.
After making a slow start in which they drew 1-1 with Brikama in the first leg of the first round, the Tunisians went on to dismiss their Gambian opponents 4-2 on aggregate after raising their game in the return leg in Tunis.
Rising Tunisian starlet, Youssef Msakni (21), who had a memorable show at the Africa Cup of Nations early in the year, will be one of the men to watch.
But Pasuwa said they are not going to target closing down individuals.
“When you are playing a team with 11 players it’s wise enough for us to plan for the whole team instead of one player,” he said.
DeMbare travelled in two batches with the first group of 25, which included all the players, leaving around 2:30pm while the remaining five followed later around 5pm.
The two groups were scheduled to join in Johannesburg last night and then proceed to Tunis where they are scheduled to arrive today.
Pasuwa said this was one of the best travel arrangements in his entire career, which enables them to arrive at the match venue three days before the game.
The club’s secretary-general, Raymond Kazembe, praised their sponsors BancABC, who are footing the costs of the trip.
Kazembe said they do not anticipate to encounter problems in Tunisia.
“I am told Esperance are one of the best in terms of hospitality and there was no need to panic. I want to sincerely thank our sponsors BancABC for all they have done for the team,” he said.
W. Arubi, P. Nhete
D. Kutyauripo, T. Mamvura, O. Mushure, O. Mbara, G. Magariro, G. Bello, P. Jaure
M. Makopa, D. Chafa, T. Muparati, D. Mukamba, T. Mabvura, M. Murape
T. Chinyama, R. Mutuma, M. Vengesai.