Dynamos will pull through: Maingire

benjamin_marere_dynamosHARARE Dynamos inspirational captain Tafadzwa Maingire has vowed that the Harare soccer giants will defy all odds to qualify for the semi-finals from their tough African Champions League Group A. (Pictured: Benjamin Marere A veteran of the Champions League.)

Maingire captained Dynamos to the lucrative mini-league stage of the continents premier club competition when the Zimbabwean side beat Botswanas Gaborone United 4-2 on aggregate, despite losing the second leg 0-1 in Gaborone two weeks ago.

Dynamos were drawn in a tough group that features three former African Champions League winners defending champions TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Algerian side Entente Setif and Esperance of Tunisia.

The Zimbabweans are the only team in the group dubbed the Group of Death who have not won the African title.

With two teams from the group proceeding to the semi-finals history favours the three former African club champions to sail through at the expense of the Harare giants.

But DeMbare skipper Maingire said they were not intimidated by their more illustrious opponents.

“In modern football history does not count anymore. They might have won the African Champions League but we are also hungry to do the same. We believe this is a great opportunity for the team to play at this stage of the tournament, said the tough-tackling defender.

At first we wanted to qualify to the group stage which we managed and now we want to reach the semi-finals and after that the final and hopefully win the cup for the first time. That is very possible,” added the media-shy defender.

Maingire also revealed that they were inspired by the fact that they have at least two players veteran midfielder Desmond “Gaza” Maringwa and winger Benjamin Marere who have Champions League experience.

“We also have an advantage because we have experienced players who have played at this level before. Gazza and Marere were part of the squad that reached the semi-finals of the same tournament in 2008 and their experience will come in handy,” he said.

Dynamos kick-start their campaign for a place in the semi-finals with a home tie against reigning champions TP Mazembe during the weekend of July 16-18 the same weekend fellow Harare giants CAPS United will be away for a Confederations Cup date against Sudanese side Al Hilal.

The last time Dynamos played in the African Champions league they reached the semi-finals in 2008 under the guidance of David Mandigora and it now remains to be seen whether current coach Elvis Chuchu Chiweshe will be able to scale the same heights.

The furthest Dynamos have gone in the tournament is the final they reached in 1998 under the guidance of Sunday Chidzambwa before they fell 4-2 to Asec Mimosa of Ivory Coast.

CAF Champions League draw

Group A: Dynamos (Zimbabwe), Entente Setif (Algeria), Esperance (Tunisia), TP Mazembe (DRC)

Group B: Al Ahly (Egypt), Heartland (Nigeria), Ismaili (Egypt), JS Kabylie (Algeria)

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