FORMER Dynamos star Lloyd Mutasa has said his former team requires high-level discipline and mental strength to upset Tunisiaâ€™s African club football giants Etoile Sportive du Sahel away at the weekend.
Veteran midfielder Desmond Maringwaâ€™s headed goal gave Dynamos a 1-0 first-leg win at Gwanzura Stadium two weeks ago, leaving his club needing another positive result to progress to the rich mini-league stage of the CAF African Champions League.
And Mutasa, who played an instrumental role in Dynamosâ€™ impressive surge to the Champions League final in 1998 â€” facing North African opposition on the way â€” warned the Zimbabwean champions of an out-and-out offensive approach and psychological strategies which “the West and North African teams always use at home”.
Etoile are the defending champions of Africaâ€™s top club competition.
Mutasa said: “Our players must expect a hostile reception there. The home side will attack from the beginning and pin them down in their half. Our team must be disciplined in defence because the referee will not allow them the comfort of the benefit-of-doubt. They must not do anything that can be used against them while in a defensive position. Any 50-50 situation will be given against them. They must not chest the ball with hands flying around because that will be will given as hand-ball.
“We need to defend very cautiously. The best form of defence is attack, but we must attack with a lot of discipline. But again, its better to fall short going forward than in defence. They need to score, so they will use two strikers. So we need two man-markers and an extra defender to clean-up and organise attacks from the back.”
The former Tanganda and Dynamos midfield star, now coaching Mutare Division One side Highway, said the involvement of former head coach Sunday Chidzambwa in the coaching staff for the tie could prove a wise decision. Chidzambwa, who has also coached the Zimbabwe national side, was in charge when Dynamos made it to the final 10 years ago.
“Heâ€™s seen it all,” Mutasa said. “He was fairly successful against the North African teams. He knows their tricks and his preferred style of play countered them well. The North Africans are quick on the ball and Mhofu knows how to close down gaps and how to utilise the few opportunities that come your way in such conditions.”
If they lose, Dynamos will go down to the Confederation Cup, where domestic rivals Highlanders will be battling for life away to Sudanese club El Merreikh, who downed them 0-2 in the first-leg in Harare a fortnight ago.
Not much is known of Sudanese club football, and Bosso paid for that in the reverse fixture defeat.
They played the match at Harareâ€™s Gwanzura, away from their legion of passionate supporters at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo, which might have also worked against them.
By Enoch Muchinjo