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Derby Divides City Again

THERE is more than pride at stake tomorrow when Premiership Soccer League (PSL) log leaders Dynamos host Caps United in the Harare derby at Rufaro.

The teams have met twice this year, on both occasions failing to perform to expected standards — more so Dembare.

Their lacklustre performances and meek resistance, not befitting the status of this famous derby, puts the premiership favourites under pressure tomorrow to end their domination by Caps.

A Nyasha Mushekwi brace condemned Dembare to a two-nil defeat in the reverse fixture on Easter Monday while Leonard Tsipa struck in extra time of the Nestle Charity Shield in August to prolong Caps stranglehold of the derby.

So tomorrow Dynamos need to win the match for two crucial reasons: Strengthening their title credentials and ending the Caps jinx. The Green Machine’s dominance over their arch rivals stretch back to 2007.

However, Dynamos assistant coach Tonderai Ndiraya said his team is unmoved by history.

“That record means nothing to us, it’s history,” said Ndiraya. “It’s not written down anywhere that Caps will beat Dynamos forever. It’s a new game altogether and records are set to be broken.”

Ndiraya also slammed club supporters who have turned against some players and constantly boo the technical team.

“That behaviour by our supporters should stop,” he said. “If the supporters start booing players, they put unnecessary pressure on them and us. We all lose confidence and it is Dynamos that lose at the end of the day, not Ndiraya or player X. It does not help any cause.”

Caps, on the other hand, are determined to keep alive their hopes of ending second and secure an African Champions League slot.

Makepekepe are fifth on the log with 32 points whilst second-placed Gunners have 43 points. Caps have however played two games less.

Mathematically, Caps also still stand a chance of pipping Dynamos to the premiership title, giving this derby another interesting angle.

Caps coach Lloyd Chitembwe tried to take the pressure off his players saying his team has already “over-achieved” this season.

“There is nothing special about the game and we are not going to use any special tactics for it,” said Chitembwe. “My team has already achieved the objectives we set at the beginning of the season. The team is now stable, disciplined and competitive and we have won a cup — in fact we have overachieved.”

 

Henry Mhara

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