DYNAMOS’ chances of retaining the Premier Soccer League title could suffer a major setback with some key players set to miss crucial games due to injuries.
BY HENRY MHARA/MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE
Club captain Augustine Mbara and goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi faces up to four weeks on the sidelines after scans on their ankle injuries revealed fractures while Kudzanai Nyakasaka is also set to miss the team’s next match against FC Platinum due to an ankle problem.
Mbara and Mukandi are both wearing plasters and walking on crutches.
Coach Tonderai Ndiraya yesterday said the duo could be sidelined for the coming four weeks, a period his team will play crucial matches starting with this Saturday’s trip to title rivals FC Platinum, as the race for the title enters the home stretch.
The defending league champions then host WhaWha before travelling to table toppers Chicken Inn, the only two teams who have managed to beat Ndiraya’s boys this term.
Harare City will then follow up on the line-up before the Glamour Boys travel to Flame Lily, a match that might mark Mbara and Mukandi’s return.
“Mukandi will have his plaster removed on Monday and Mbara will have his for the next two weeks. They will need at least two weeks of training after the plasters have been removed to get back to full fitness so we are looking at least four weeks on the sidelines,” said Ndiraya.
Mbara picked the injury in the team’s 2-0 win over Triangle at Gibbo Stadium a fortnight ago while Mukandi sustained his during a training session.
Young Nyakasaka was injured in his team’s last league match against How Mine at Rufaro Stadium last week where he played as cover to Ocean Mushure who is serving a suspension.
It is the injury of Nyakasaka which is giving Ndiraya some sleepless nights ahead of their match against FC Platinum.
With Mbara injured and Mushure serving his last match this weekend for the red card he picked against Tsholotsho, Nyakasaka, a former Sodbury High School student, was the only recognisable left-back in the team.
Ndiraya might be forced to play left link Tichaona Mabvura in that position, a player who has seen no action for the team this season.
This match headlines match day 22 fixtures, a clash of two inform teams who are tipped to win the title.
Dynamos are in second position with 39 points, four behind Chicken Inn, while FC Platinum are third on 39 points with nine matches remaining before the league ends.
The Harare giants are on a 13-league match unbeaten run while FC Platinum have not lost in their last 12 league matches.
Interestingly, it was Dynamos who last beat FC Platinum in the league, a 1-0 victory at Rufaro Stadium when Oscar Machapa bundled home deep into stoppage time.
And again, history favours Dynamos in this clash.
In the two teams’ only six league meetings since FC Platinum were promoted into the top flight in 2011, Dynamos have won three while two were drawn.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza sounded modest when asked to comment about the big match on Saturday.
“We are taking the game just like any other game. There is nothing different from the matches we have played before,” Mapeza said.
“I do not want to talk about maximum points, the idea is to play well against them and see what happens at the end of the day. From the preparations we are doing and the way the team is playing, I am confident we will do well,” he added.