BRAGGING RIGHTS ON THE LINE . . . DeMbare’s ‘Kantes’ target Bosso in Battle of Zim
THEY played key roles when Dynamos downed giants CAPS United in the Harare Derby at the National Sports Stadium last month.
The two Dynamos “Kantes”— Donald “Kante” Mudadi and Tanaka “Kante” Shandirwa — were so influential in that 2-0 victory that they dominated headlines for the week that followed.
And both are determined to take the same energy levels into the “Battle of Zimbabwe” when Dynamos face off against Highlanders at Barbourfields this afternoon.
The giants clash in a rearranged Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match day five encounter that was supposed to be played before DeMbare’s famous seventh week Harare Derby victory over Makepekepe.
The postponement was meant to allow the two teams ample time to prepare for their Independence Trophy showdown in My Darwin on April 18.
Bosso won that encounter in a penalty lottery following a goalless draw in regulation time to underline their dominance over their bitter rivals in all competitions.
Shandirwa was the most outstanding player in that match while Mudadi didn’t play as he was carrying a head injury.
But both are available for this afternoon’s duel.
Dynamos have failed to win against Highlanders in the league since May 2017.
And the two Kantes want to be the first crop of DeMbare to stop Bosso in six years.
Mudadi, who was the man of the match when Dynamos outclassed Makepekepe said he was both excited and anxious to face Bosso in a Dynamos shirt for the first time.
“Yes (this is my first time to face Highlanders in a Dynamos shirt). I am excited and anxious at the same time.
“But I believe as a team, we are going to make it,” said Mudadi.
“I am certainly ready to give my all in this game. Just expect more energy (than what I threw in the match against CAPS United).
“We are in this game to win it. We just need to focus on the positivity of the outcome despite everything that can be running through our minds”.
DeMbare are currently at a low ebb after going for three games without winning let alone scoring.
“It all comes down to teamwork. It contributes a lot. We need to work on our past mistakes so that we can pick a positive result against Highlanders.
“For the supporters, I would like to say thank you for the patience. We are working hard every day to try and avoid disappointing you.
“Come in your numbers and rally behind us at Barbourfields, we will make it for you”.
Shandirwa said despite the recent poor results posted by Dynamos, DeMbare remain the best team in the league in every aspect of play.
“Well, I would like to reiterate that Dynamos is the best team in the league right now. We have been affected badly by time wasting tendencies by some teams. We are playing Highlanders and we will work hard to win as long as there is no time wasting, we will win,” said Shandirwa.
“As players obviously there is pressure especially after going for all those minutes (270 minutes) without scoring.
“But I think it will work out since we have been training hard to improve our conversion rate. “Since joining Dynamos, I have been very happy with the support that we get.
“I know Barbourfields will be filled to capacity and instead of feeling intimidated by that atmosphere, it actually inspires me to play before such a huge crowd.
“As players, we have been encouraging each other to stay focused. This is a game that can be won or lost on marginal errors caused by lack of concentration. So for us to work out a formula that can win us the match, we need to retain maximum focus. This is a big game and we need to pick the points”.
But Highlanders defender Peter Muduhwa has warned Dynamos to expect a tough ride. Bosso are the only team yet to lose a match this season.
And Muduhwa, who has been the pillar of Bosso’s outstanding defensive show, said Dynamos should be thoroughly prepared for this tie.
“As Highlanders, we are ready to rumble. Everyone is in the mood and we are ready,” said Muduhwa.
“Dynamos are a good team but they should come prepared.
“A win for us against Dynamos is one thing that is non-negotiable. We will put the extra percentage into the workshop to make sure we pick the points.
“We have been dominating Dynamos for years even in instances where they play with an extra man. We will go out there and put in the work to win the match”.
Muduhwa appealed to fans-both Dynamos’ and Highlanders’ to respect match officials and whatever the out-come of the game. “Our game against Dynamos is obviously the biggest match in the country. While we may disagree with certain decisions by match officials or even some unsporting gestures by players, we should always make sure we control our tempers.
“It’s only a game of football, not a hooliganism party. I am appealing to our fans and Dynamos supporters to respect whatever decision is made by referees. Fans are the game’s biggest stakeholders and we love them but let’s enjoy the game and the rivalry in a mature way”.