HARARE – Calisto Pasuwa will give under-fire goalkeeper George Chigova the nod for Dynamos’ trip to Morris Depot to face relegation-threatened Black Mambas in the Castle Premiership this afternoon.
The Glamour Boys’ shot stopper came under heavy criticism for his blunder, which allowed Highlanders to score a vital equaliser in the 1-1 draw between the two sides at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
The 21-year-old goalkeeper misjudged Bosso fullback Bruce Kangwa’s cross-cum-shot and allowed the ball to sneak in at the near post.
If Dynamos had held onto their 1-0 lead, the Harare giants would have opened a five-point cushion over second-placed Bosso to move to the brink of a second title in two years.
Despite the costly mistake, Pasuwa will give the former Gunners keeper a chance to redeem himself against Mambas this afternoon.
Pasuwa was the first to go onto the pitch and console the young goalkeeper, who wept uncontrollably at the final whistle.
After the match, Dynamos assistant coach Ndiraya refused to blame Chigova for Highlanders’ equaliser and backed the young keeper to bounce back after the howler.
“We still believe in the youngster. He has done a very good job since taking over from Washy (Arubi) and he is organising the defence well every week,” he said.
“We will keep on talking to him and he will improve. It was an awkward ball and many world-class goalkeepers have conceded such goals.”
Ndiraya dismissed the notion that Chigova has done well at the Glamour Boys due to the fact that he has a strong defence in front of him.
“Yes it is a fact we have a strong defence, we have to give credit to George because he is the last man of that defence,” he said.
“He is always busy organising that defence and if he was not there, those guys would probably not be organised, so we have to give it to him.”
Statistics are there to back up Pusuwa’s decision to stick with the young goalkeeper in the aftermath of his calamitous mistake on Sunday.
Chigova has started all 14 league and two cup games since Arubi left Dynamos for South African Premiership side University of Pretoria in mid-July.
Since taking over from Arubi, the Aces Youth Soccer Academy graduate has only conceded six goals after 1 260 minutes of Premiership action.
This means Chigova has conceded an average of 0,42 goals in the 14 matches he has started for the Glamour Boys.
In the same period, Chigova has also kept a remarkable eight clean sheets to help Dynamos move into a good position to defend their title.
In the Mbada Diamonds Cup, Chigova has only conceded one goal, which came in the first round when Dynamos toiled to beat Bulawayo minnows Quelaton last month.
The match finished 1-1 in regulation time before DeMbare went on to win the tie 4-2 after a penalty shootout.
Two weeks ago, Chigova kept a clean sheet when the Glamour Boys beat Gunners 3-0 in the quarterfinals to book a semifinal date with FC Platinum.
This afternoon, Dynamos cannot afford to drop any points against Mambas, who are still not safe from relegation.
Any DeMbare slip-up will open the door for Highlanders, who take on Buffaloes at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon, to sneak back into contention for the title.