By Grace Chingoma
DENVER Mukamba was the conductor of the orchestra as the Band DeMbare produced a soundbite, in a championship battle cry, which was so powerful it must have been heard as far as the City of Kings.
Rufaro was the theatre once again where the irresistible Mukamba juggled the magical and the showmanship yesterday as he powered Dynamos to a deserved victory that swept them within just three points behind leaders Highlanders.
Mukamba scored both goals, beautiful ones for good measure, and ran the show with a sublime performance that fittingly received a standing ovation from the fans.
There is something special that is being built by coach Callisto Pasuwa and its heart is Mukamba with Cliff Sekete, Tichaona Mabvura and Farai Mupasiri providing the supporting act.
And you get to feel they have an edge in this championship race, which is too close to predict, and if they continue playing as well as this at Rufaro, where they still have a date with Bosso, the battle is theirs to lose.
Dynamos now await the verdict of the Appeals Committee which will convene today to deliberate on their match against Hwange. The crucial goals which came in the 31st minute and 74th minutes saw the lanky midfielder take his tally to six goals to become the club’s second leading scorer.
Big forward Takesure Chinyama might have moved to South African giants Orlando Pirates, but he still leads the club’s charts with eight goals. Despite their chief striker having left for Pirates, Dynamos have not relented in their march to defend the championship title they won in dramatic fashion last season.
Ironically, the enemy they faced yesterday, FC Platinum, were the same opponents that Dynamos needed to beat at Mandava in order to seize the advantage in the title race last year.
The pressure was on Dynamos once again going into yesterday’s game as they were the home side and have been forced to play catch-up by a Highlanders side that is still to taste defeat this season.
Dynamos are also yet to lose to FC Platinum and yesterday’s victory saw the Harare giants continue to enjoy dominance over the miners whom they have now beaten in 360 minutes of league action since the ambitious Zvishavane side won promotion into the top-flight last year.
The defeat further dented Platinum’s own league campaign, coming as it did on the back of a 3-0 hiding at home by resurgent Monomotapa. FC Platinum also appear to have terribly lost their way following the sacking of coach Rahman Gumbo.
In yesterday’s game, they also finished with 10 men following the expulsion of right back Rafael Muduviwa in the 83rd minute. The defender elbowed Martin Vengesayi in an off-the-ball incident and referee Pedzisai Chadya promptly sent him off.
Muduviwa became the latest Platinum player to be sent off in what is becoming a tradition at the cub following the recent expulsion of Qadr Amini and Zephaniah Ngodzo.
While FC Platinum continue to sing the blues, Mukamba seems to have put behind him the disappointment of failing to land a contract at Bidvest Wits and focus on leading the Dynamos championship march.
The Warriors midfielder, who provided a goal in the reverse fixture at Mandava yesterday, showed why the Dynamos fans were quietly praying that he stays at least for another season with sublimely taken goals.
Mukamba also reckoned that his life at Dynamos had been made easy with the arrival on the big stage of fellow youth brigades — Mupasiri, Sekete and Mabvura.
“It becomes easy to play and do well when you are playing with good players. The coming in of these young players has really helped me and I am enjoying my football. I am happy with my form, but I know I have to continue working hard and keep focused if we have to win this league.
“This game is now over and we are already focusing on the Gunners match,” said Mukamba. The hosts, began the match on a high tempo and within half an hour they were rewarded for their probing when a quick counter attack saw Martin Vengesayi clear on goal.
The speedy striker’s initial effort was blocked but the ball fell onto the path of Mukamba who made no mistake from Dynamos’ second bite of the cherry. DeMbare could have increased their lead when Vengesayi just missed the target.
Vengesayi was given the nod in attack in the absence of the suspended Roderick Mutuma and his pace troubled midfielder- turned makeshift centre-back Thabani Kamusoko all afternoon. The visitors also had the chance to level terms in the first period when Muduviwa’s effort went over the bar with a jittery goalkeeper George Chigova beaten.
After the restart, Chigova who has been a revelation since filling in Washington Arubi’s shoes, also had trouble in dealing with Benjamin Marere’s ball as DeMbare were briefly under siege from FC Platinum. FC Platinum winger Ali Sadiki also sprayed one or two good crosses but Dynamos survived the raids.
However, it was Dynamos substitute striker Mabvura who could have scored another goal when he received a perfect pass from Sekete but just shot wide. Sekete, Mabvura and Mupasiri then combined to set up Mukamba for his second goal and compound the woes for FC Platinum’s caretaker coach Tendai Chikuni.
Chikuni said it was always going to be difficult to beat Dynamos and gave credit to his players for an improved performance in comparison to their game against Monomotapa. “We really know that it wasn’t going to be an easy game. We knew they were going to fight. I give my guys credit they played well.
“In the first half we were not doing well in the midfield and we brought Cabby Kamhapa into the defensive link and the second half started well but lost concentration again.
“When I brought Joel, I pushed Marere upfront and it was now offensive play. We have lost two games in a row and we need to see how we will play in the next game otherwise I was impressed with today’s performance compared to the last game,” said Chikuni.
Dynamos assistant coach Tonderayi Ndiraya, who has been in charge of the team’s training, before he was joined at the bench yesterday by Pasuwa hailed his players. “We want to keep on pushing. We wanted to collect three points and that is what we have done. We will keep on pushing.
“We tend to relax when we score, we sat back and they started dominating. We were not quite pleased that it took us time to adjust even when we played in Zvishavane it was the same story,” Ndiraya said.
Ndiraya said he was satisfied with performance of players such as Sekete and Vengesayi and is confident his charges will collect maximum points again against Gunners on Sunday.
“It was a brilliant performance and we had all the confidence he (Sekete) would play as we had no option of an attacking midfielder. Martin was out for some time and came in and did well while Farai was also getting into scoring positions,” said Ndiraya. The Herald
Dynamos: G. Chigova, T. Magorimbo, G. Zhokinyi, P. Jaure, O. Mushure, D. Chafa, D. Mukamba, M. Murape (T. Mabvura 58th minute), C. Sekete, M. Vengesayi (D. Kabwe 88th minute), F. Mupasiri.
FC Platinum: F. Tizai, D. Veremu, Q. Amini, T. Kamusoko, R. Muduviwa C. Kamhapa, H. Mavundi, A. Sadiki, B. Marere, W. Manondo (J. Ngodzo 60th minute), D. Ngoma (M. Katsvairo 72nd minute).