DeMbare want double over Ngezi

18 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
DeMbare want double over Ngezi Genesis Mangombe

The Sunday News

Don Makanyanga, Harare Bureau

OVER the last couple of years, clashes between Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum Stars have been ordinary matches.

That was until the 2023 season, when the script changed as Ngezi turned on the magic and powered their way to a maiden Castle Lager Premier Soccer League championship title.

In the process, the platinum miners ended Dynamos’ hopes of reclaiming a title that has continued to elude them since 2014.

On December 3, Dynamos, who eventually finished third in the league race, got a chance to atone for being beaten to the Premiership title when they faced Ngezi in the Chibuku Super Cup final.

DeMbare emerged 2-0 winners before a packed Baobab Stadium in Mhondoro-Ngezi.

This week, the two teams will mark the start of the 2024 top-flight season when they clash in the Castle Challenge.

Again, as was the case last year, Baobab will be the setting of the latest showdown.

The encounter has underlined the growing rivalry between Dynamos and Ngezi.

The Harare giants’ coach, Genesis Mangombe, summed it up when he told Zimpapers Sports Hub yesterday that “Ngezi do not want us to have two cups at their expense, but we want to beat them again”.

“We managed to win the Chibuku Super Cup and now we have a challenge.

“Our opponents will be aiming to win the Castle Lager Challenge Cup because they would not want us to have a cup double,” said Mangombe.

With both sides targeting to start the season on a high note, the Dynamos gaffer admits completing the double over Ngezi inside three months will not be an easy task for his charges.

“The Challenge Cup will be a tight match and I know it will be an interesting tie, hence we are trying to do our best and make sure we win . . .

“At Dynamos, it doesn’t matter that you are playing a friendly match, a win is what is always expected, hence it is serious business for us in the Challenge Cup. We are going into the final looking for nothing short of a win,” added Mangombe.

“Playing Ngezi Platinum Stars is a good test for us going into the season.

“A victory on Saturday will not be just a victory, but it will give us confidence as a team and the fans going into the season, while for me as coach, it boosts my CV.”

With the battle lines drawn, Ngezi are not intimidated at the prospect of facing Dynamos again.

Takesure Chiragwi said they were aiming to start the season with additional silverware in their trophy cabinet.

“You always play to win,’’ Chiragwi said.

“What is important about winning the Challenge Cup is the fact that it gives players confidence ahead of the start of a new season, hence we are hoping that we will play and win . . .”

Chiragwi will also use the competition to gauge the level of preparedness of his side in their quest to defend the league title.

Both Ngezi and Dynamos will this year chase glory on two fronts, as they will represent Zimbabwe in the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup competitions, respectively.


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