Dynamos, CAPS clash in Charity Shield final

chitembweHARARE Rufaro Stadium is the theatre of a fierce battle for supremacy when perennial soccer rivals CAPS United and Dynamos face off the Nestle Champion of Champions Charity Shield final this afternoon. (Pictured: CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe)

Zimbabwean derbies do not come any bigger than this traditionally action-packed encounter between the two Harare-based rivals. This is the type of game when where players, who often live in the same neighbourhoods, have to cast aside their off-the-field friendship to play their hearts out for their respective teams.

That tradition is set to continue in todays encounter with a clash between bosom buddies Ashley Rambanapasi of CAPS United and Dynamos Desmond Maringwa who are the driving forces in their teams engine rooms.

Such is the intensity of the rivalry between the capitals two biggest teams that no football fan would take chances and don anything green in the famous Vietnam stand Dynamos supporters fortress or wear a blue shirt in the Green Machines northern stand.

Despite the Green Machines recent uninspiring run in the Premiership which saw them fall to the fire-power of Moses Chungas Gunners at Gwanzura last Sunday, staunch United supporters will throng Rufaro expecting nothing short of victory against the old enemy.

Followers of the CAPS/Dynamos clashes know that just like any other derby elsewhere on the planet, the form book does not count much.

The Dynamos fans expect their side to strip United of the Cup Kings tag they won last year and prove that they are a strong force worth winning this years Premier Soccer League championship race, which they are currently leading.

The Glamour Boys have an added incentive in that they would like to score a double over the Green Machine by retaining the Charity Shield they won last year after beating their city rivals in a two-legged encounter.

But that was their only moment of glory in a season DeMbare went on to spend the rest of the year paying back as the Green Machine humiliated them in other knockout competitions.

In the ABC Super 8 semi-final and down to 10-men, following Rambanapasis red card from referee Tendai Bwanya, United cruised to a 1-0 victory after Dynamos striker Edward Sadomba was denied a goal from the penalty spot by the agility of big goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda.

Two months down the line, CAPS then under the guidance of Jostein Mathuthu went on to beat their bitter rivals 2-1 in a CBZ FA Cup semi-final.

But all of Dynamos agony at the hands of CAPS United may have gone with former coach David Mandigoras departure, as much as all of MaKepeKepes fine moments against DeMbare appear to have disappeared with the exit of Mathuthu.

Dynamos new coach Elvis Chuchu Chiweshe, who has led his charges to a string of impressive victories in the Premiership, will be expected to steamroll over his struggling rival Lloyd Chitembwe.

Chitembwe, one of the youngest coaches in this years top flight league, may as well use this encounter to win back the hearts of the CAPS United supporters who verbally abused him after the 1-2 loss to Gunners, last week.

But it will be a challenging assignment for the former DarrynT and CAPS United combative midfielder as his opponent, Chuchu, will not risk his current romantic relationship with the Dynamos supporters in such an important fixture.

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