Stage set for clash of giants

CALM BEFORE THE STORM . . . ZNA public relations director, Alphios Makotore (right), addresses a media conference in Harare yesterday in the company of Dynamos treasurer, Webster Marechera (left) and Highlanders vice-chairman, Mcini Mpofu

CALM BEFORE THE STORM . . . ZNA public relations director, Alphios Makotore (right), addresses a media conference in Harare yesterday in the company of Dynamos treasurer, Webster Marechera (left) and Highlanders vice-chairman, Mcini Mpofu

Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
THE stage has been set for bitter rivals Dynamos and Highlanders to clash in another high-profile showdown at Rufaro on Sunday in the final of the Commander Zimbabwe National Army Charity Shield. Winners will pocket $12 000 and the runners-up will take home $8 000. The two giants have recently clashed in two mouther-watering ties in the Castle Lager Premiership which have produced seven goals.

DeMbare edged Bosso 3-2 in the first league encounter at Rufaro, one of the best battles between the two giants in recent years, while the reverse encounter at Barbourfields on Sunday ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Glamour Boys are yet to lose a league match to their biggest rivals in nine years and the showdown in Bulawayo even attracted fans from South Africa.

Takesure Chinyama, back in the DeMbare colours after a largely unsuccessful spell in South Africa, struck the equaliser, to cap a very good performance, while Mthulisi Maphosa had headed Bosso into the lead.

Maphosa, unfortunately, had to be pulled out prematurely after injuring his ankle, while struggling to gain balance, after an outrageous piece of dribbling by the consistent Ocean Mushure.

The Bosso skipper is now out for the rest of the season.

ZNA public relations director, Alphios Makotore, said all was now set for the grand final and another battle between the two heavyweights.

“Everything is now in place and we are hoping that we will have a successful event come Sunday,” Makotore said at a media briefing.

“We are looking forward to seeing big numbers (of fans) at the match and gates will open at 11am and the curtain-raisers will play at midday.

“The entry fees have not changed with $3 for the rest of ground tickets, $5 for the upper grand stand and $10 for the VIP.

“Black Rhinos Queens will play Chapungu Queens as the curtain-raisers.”

Dynamos will miss ‘keeper Tatenda Mukuruva, Blessing Moyo and Carlos Resere who are expected to be away on national duty with the Young Warriors in South Africa.

The Glamour Boys also missed their talisman, Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo, in the last league match against Bosso as he failed to recover from injury.

Chitiyo scored twice when the two giants last met at Rufaro.

Dynamos treasurer, Webster Marechera, said his team had a lot of character and they know that their fans won’t take any defeat to Bosso lightly.

“The team has been doing well against Highlanders and that will continue on Sunday. Dynamos players do not take defeat by their rivals lightly and I hope everyone who will make the team will continue with that culture.

“We will miss a few players but we have registered 30 players who are capable of doing the job at any stage.

“We are grateful to ZNA for the tournament as it gives us a platform to give back to the community as a club,” said Marechera.

Bosso are likely to be without Teenage Hadebe, Knox Mutizwa and Nqobizitha Masuku will also be on national duty as well.

Highlander’s vice-chairman, Mcini Mpofu, said after coming close to beating Dynamos this season, this could be their chance to do just that.

“I think everything has a beginning and an end so this time we are going to finish Dynamos off,” he said.

“Last week they survived and it’s high time we end their dominance over us and we are going to make sure that the time is now.

“We have a good side that has been doing well and we will only miss the services of those who will be with the national team. We are definitely going to field a competitive side and make sure we end Dynamos’ dominance.

“We will bring our strongest side for the encounter.”

To advance to the final, Dynamos overcame fierce city rivals CAPS United in the semi-finals.

Highlanders defeated How Mine at Barbourfields.

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