By Eddie Chikamhi
Dynamos …………………………………….. (1) 2
Motor Action ……………………………………. 0
Determined Dynamos demonstrated why they are serious contenders for this year’s league title with a dominant performance that blew away outgoing champions Motor Action in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Rufaro yesterday.
Midfielder Denver Mukamba put Dynamos in the lead with a well-struck shot at the edge of the box in the 31st minute and Roderick Mutuma sealed the game when he headed home Augustine Mbara’s cross soon after the restart.
The game attracted a good crowd by midweek standards, with 13 079 fans paying to watch, and it could have been more lively had Motor Action came out of their blocks.
The match, which was shown live on SuperSport channel as a test run, grossed US$44 143 from gate takings and Dynamos were left with a net income of US$19 772.
The Mighty Bulls were too passive in approach and appeared to give Dynamos too much respect, especially in the midfield where Denver Mukamba, Archieford Gutu and Murape Murape had a field day.
Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa was elated by the victory which enabled them to keep pace with title rivals FC Platinum who also beat Monomotapa 2-0 at Gwanzura.
DeMbare remained second on the log standings with 52 points, three behind the Zvishavane miners, to set a pulsating stage for Sunday’s blockbuster clash between the two teams at Mandava when the destiny of the championship could take a clearer picture.
Pasuwa praised his charges for their performance and said they are now looking forward to the remaining two games against FC Platinum and Kiglon.
“The guys played well,” he said.
“At this hour what we need is three points, no matter how we play. Overally I think it was very good today and as I have said before we are taking each game as it comes,” said Pasuwa.
DeMbare enjoyed the lion’s share of the exchanges and were rewarded in one of the raids when Cuthbert Malajila won a tussle with defenders Norman Njelele and Themba Ndlhovu at the edge of the box.
With the Mighty Bulls defence still to re-organise, Malajila laid the ball on for Mukamba who spotted an opening and, without wasting time, placed the ball to the far right of goalkeeper Marlon Jani, for Dynamos’ opener.
The goal, a rising effort that also caught Jani by surprise was befitting for yesterday’s occasion in which the game was being live on Dstv’s SuperSport channels.
DeMbare could have doubled their lead just before half-time when Mutuma steered clear of the Bulls’ defence but Isaac Masame reacted quickly with a sliding tackle to stop the charge in the penalty box.
Motor Action however were the first to test their opponents against the run of play when Kuda Musharu got to the end of a long ball in the 21st minute but shot tamely at goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
The Mighty Bulls looked vulnerable at the back where they appeared shaky after making positional changes in the absence of Young Warriors rightback Passmore Bernard and Reuben Machaya through suspension.
Motor Action were facing a crisis and Godfrey Moyo who usually partners Themba Ndlhovu in central defence was pushed to the right while Norman Njelele who has not seen much of the game this season was plucked from the archives and thrown at the centre back.
But Ocean Mushure acquitted himself well early on with some good runs down the left flank although his crosses were easily dealt with by the Dynamos defenders.
Strikers Musharu and his partner Tawanda Ushe, who scored the opener in last week’s Mbada Diamonds Cup against Zimbabwe Saints, were hugely anonymous and coach Joey Antipas, keen to save the game, introduced Tawanda Nyamandwe and Enasio Perezo in the second period, but scoring opportunities remained few and far between.
DeMbare got their second in the 50th minute when wingback Mbara beat his marker, crated some good space for himself on the left and sent in a low cross that Mutuma connected with his head for his 13th league goal of the season.
Motor Action were down and out with that goal and goalkeeper Jani was called to service at the hour mark when he collected Malajila’s effort after the DeMbare hitman, who wore the captain’s armband for the second successive match, had survived an offside trap.
Gutu also came close a minute later with a long range attempt that was punched out for corner by the veteran goalminder. Referee Batsirai Muchenje and his assistants Alfred Zindove and Tapfumaneyi Mutengwa had a good game but nearly marred a fine afternoon when he pointed to the spot for a handball amid protests from Motor Action players in the 52nd minute.
Muchenje had awarded Dynamos a penalty when defender Ndlovu collided with goalkeeper Jani after a push by Malajila and the far side assistant Mutengwa correctly lifted his flag up for infringement. To his credit, the referee reversed the decision after consultations with his assistant.
Motor Action coach Antipas conceded defeat and said Dynamos were the better side.
“Dynamos played well and they controlled the game. I wish them well in their remaining games. This was a game we needed to win but we were not quick enough to the ball especially in the midfield.
“I also think we were punished for our defensive errors. Our defenders didn’t clear the lines in those two instances when Dynamos scored,” said Antipas.
The Mighty Bulls dropped to fourth on the table on 45 points.
Dynamos – W. Arubi, T. Magorimbo, A. Mbara, G. Bello, G. Zhokinyi, D. Chafa, M. Murape (T. Muparati 66th minute), A. Gutu, D. Mukamba (N. Alifandika, 75th minute), C. Malajila, R. Mutuma (M. Vengesai 70th minute)
Motor Action – M. Jani, G. Moyo, O. Mushure, T. Ndhlovu, N. Njelele, I. Masame, A. Gahadzikwa, T. Masuku (T. Nyamandwe, 46th minute), C. Whitby (M. Mambare 72nd minute), T. Ushe (E. Perezo, 64th minute), K. Musharu
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Results
Dynamos 2, Motor Action 0; Monomotapa 0, FC Platinum 2; Shabanie Mine 2, CAPS United 0; Shooting Stars 2, Blue Ribbon 0; Masvingo United 1, Highlanders 0; Hwange 2, Kiglon 1
Gunners 0, Chicken Inn 1; Zimbabwe Saints 1, Black Mambas 1
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