Herbert Maruwa faces arguably the most crucial 90 minutes of his coaching career, when struggling Harare giants Dynamos host ZPC Kariba at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.
Jompano, as the soft-spoken coach is affectionately-known, was appointed DeMbare coach at the beginning of the 2023, replacing Tonderai Ndiraya.
Under Maruwa, Dynamos started the season well with two victories over Hwange (1-0) and Sheasham (4-0) in their opening two games, before going on a three game winless run, which was ended by a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over crosstown rivals CAPS United on April 30.
Since the victory in the Harare derby, Dynamos have not won any of their last five league matches —including the rearranged ‘Battle of Zimbabwe’ against Highlanders — which ended goalless.
Last week’s defeat to Ngezi Platinum Stars resulted in the Moses Maunganidze-led Dynamos executive reportedly giving Maruwa and his technical team an ultimatum to either win their next two matches against ZPC Kariba (today) and Black Rhinos (next week), or lose their jobs.
Maruwa, who signed a 3-year contract when he replaced Ndiraya in the DeMbare dugout, put on a brave face ahead of the ZPC Kariba clash and rallied his charges to end the winless run —which has seen them score just one goal in over 7 hours of football.
“We lost against Ngezi (Platinum), it wasn’t an easy match. We dominated in the first half, but at the end of the day, we failed to collect three points but it’s now water under the bridge,” said Maruwa.
“We are playing ZPC Kariba, we need to make sure we win that game. Only five points separate us from the team which is on top, we have only played maybe 11 games, we still have more than 20 to go.
“I’m not panicking, we just need to make sure we put our act together as a team, so that we win this game,” added Maruwa.
The performance of goalkeeper Taimon Mvula in the defeat to Ngezi came under scrutiny, as the former Hwange goalkeeper made two blunders which cost DeMbare and it remains to be seen if Maruwa makes any changes in that regard tomorrow.