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Highlanders, Dynamos on ZNA Shield war footing

by Staff reporter
25 Feb 2018 at 10:28hrs | Views
ANY match pitting Highlanders and Dynamos always come with the hype, tension and fierce rivalry.

Today's clash in the Zimbabwe National Army Commander's Charities Shield final at the National Sports Stadium in Harare is expected to be no different. Going into the semi-finals last week, Highlanders and Dynamos went in as underdogs with few giving them a chance of making into the finals.

Highlanders have a largely youthful side that was expected to be given a football lesson by the experienced arsenal in the Chicken Inn camp but the youngsters showed they have a big heart and are a determined lot as they came back one nil down to win the match 2-1.

Dynamos on the other hand were forced to field a second string side after their senior team players embarked on a strike and with Caps at full strength, the Green Machine had been expected to ride roughshod over DeMbare but it was not to be as the latter held on to the solitary goal by Kudzanayi Dhemere. The two teams' coaches have declared their intent to lift the shield.

Highlanders coach, Madinda Ndlovu said despite the match coming up at a time when they are still fine tuning their squad they head into the game with nothing but victory on their minds. He said competition inevitably feeds into a winning mentality hence the aim is to lift the Shield but cautioned against reading too much into the result.

"It will be a clash between Highlanders and Dynamos and we expect that you know the competitive vibe as players will be self-motivated but I am not putting my players under pressure, I won't ask them to break a leg during the final," said Ndlovu.

He said the match presents a chance to see players who did not feature in the Chicken Inn game in action as a way of gauging their strengths.

Ndlovu said he cannot read too much into the result of the match as they are just beginning a new phase of life and is more concerned about the bigger picture that involves bringing back the glory days at Bosso. He said achieving the long term target requires a meticulous plan and following it to the letter as it cannot be done haphazardly.

Dynamos coach, Lloyd Mutasa, said he would be seeking a confidence booster ahead of the start of the season with a win against Bosso. He said after felling Caps United last week, winning today would be the tonic they need heading into the start of the Premiership. Mutasa said every player, including those that only began training on Wednesday, will have a chance of being included in the final 11.

"A win would certainly give us confidence as we walk into the league, we beat Caps last week and beating Highlanders tomorrow will make us believe as these are big clubs in the local game. It will give the youngsters an element of belief in themselves. I have a full complement of players after the return of those who were not available last week and I am going to choose any from that squad but there will be a bias towards those who played in the semi-final," he said.

Mutasa said building a winning culture is important hence there would be going for an all out victory to lift the cup. The arch-rivals are meeting for the second time in the final of the tournament which is in its sixth edition. They met in 2015 and Highlanders won 1-0. Bosso went on to defend their title in 2016, beating Harare City 4-2 after a penalty shootout.

This year's prize money has been increased, with the winner set to get $15 000, up from $12 000 while losing finalists will get $10 000 from last year's figure of $8 000.

The tournament organisers are hoping to raise at least $50 000 from this year's football tournament which will be channelled towards the five ZNA charities. The ZNA charities are Tsanga Lodge Convalescent Centre in Nyanga for the rehabilitation of injured soldiers, the Benevolence Fund for the welfare of troops on internal, external and international operations, ZNA Schools Welfare Trust, which has a total of 12 primary and five secondary schools as well as the Widows and Orphans' Fund that takes care of widows of soldiers before they receive terminal benefits.

Source - zimpapers