CHAMPIONS Dynamos overcame a lethargic start to turn on the power and thrash Black Mambas to keep their noses ahead in their intriguing Castle Lager championship fight against Highlanders.
Dynamos made an across town trip to Morris Depot knowing that any slip up would hand the initiative to their bitter rivals Bosso who were playing Buffaloes at Barbourfields. Bosso took a 14th minute lead through Masimba Mambare in what later turned out to be the only goal of the match at Barbourfields.
But at Morris Depot, DeMbare had to wait until the 33rd minute to calm their nerves. Simba Sithole thrust Dynamos into the lead in the 33rd minute when he scrambled the ball home from close range before Timire Mamvura added the second goal in the 50th minute.
Mamvura could count himself lucky to get onto the score sheet as Mambas goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga fumbled with the ball before it slipped past the goalline.
It was another classic howler by a goalkeeper as Mateyaunga seemed to have smothered the free kick by Mamvura but somehow let it slip through his fingers. On Sunday, it was Dynamos goalkeeper George Chigova who gave Highlanders a gift-wrapped goal.
Cliff Sekete further increased the lead in the 72nd minute when he came on a strong run on the right flank before firing a low shot past Mateyaunga. Mambas finished with nine men after their skipper Sam Mutenheri and defender Tawanda Muswere were shown red by referee Pascal Chadya.
Muswere was the first to be expelled as he was already sitting on a yellow card when he infringed on Dynamos goalkeeper Chigova in the 77th minute.
A minute later, Mutenheri, who had been booked earlier on, was also sent for an early shower for remonstrating with Chadya to deflate any hopes that Mambas had of saving the game.
Black Mambas assistant coach Martin Bonongwe was naturally disappointed by the defeat and believes the turning point was the schoolboy blunder by their otherwise impressive goalkeeper.
“The result is very disappointing considering that we were playing at home and fighting. We should have used home advantage. The goalkeeping error was the turning point because we were looking like a team that was going to score but at that point things fell apart,” said Bonongwe.
Losing two players within a space of a minute, Bonongwe said, also affected them.
“Unfortunately we lost two key defenders to red cards,” said Bonongwe.
Despite the defeat, Black Mambas are still optimistic of surviving relegation at the end of the season. The police side will play Buffaloes, Hardbody and FC Platinum to wrap up their season.
“Hopefully if we get six points from the nine left, we might be able to survive relegation. We failed to score when we had the advantage in the early stages,” said Bonongwe. Mambas appeared more comfortable in the early stages with Nicholas Alifandika and Innocent Nyoni causing anxious moments for DeMbare.
But it was the predatory Sithole who struck his second goal in many games who calmed the nerves of the champions who scored two more in the second half as some showers fell. Other than Devon Chafa, who is injured, Dynamos fielded the same team that started against Highlanders.
“We had a good game on Sunday (against Highlanders) and I thought we carried off from where we left. Today we are glad that the goals came and that should set the tone for the brutal end to the championship race. In the first half, it was not so easy, we struggled a bit until we got that goal which settled our nerves.
“From there on everything became easy,” said Dynamos assistant coach Tonderayi Ndiraya.
Ndiraya said their win yesterday gave them the moral boost ahead of a tricky tie against Monomotapa on Sunday.
“It is going to be a big game but I am sure this win today gave our players confidence. We are getting into that game full of confidence. We cannot wait for that game on Sunday but all the remaining games are difficult.
“Now we are in the home stretch and every game becomes difficult and we have to collect maximum points,” Ndiraya said.
He also paid tribute to Chigova for showing greater character yesterday following his infamous boob at the weekend.
“Chigova was doing almost everything correct today and that’s a plus on his side and when we play Monoz I hope he will perform the same way he did today. He was fantastic. Also Timire did well in giving good cover to the back four in the absence of Devon Chafa,” said Ndiraya. The Herald
Black Mambas: T Mateyaunga, T Muswere, N Alifandika, K Chidzambwa, B Nyaunzvi, G Mangani (E. Chitato 68th minute), L Chibwiro, S Mutenheri, I Nyoni (T Rantokoane 68th minute), B Chirimhanzi, P Madziro
Dynamos: G Chigova (P Nhete 83rd minute), T Magorimbo, D Mukamba, P Jaure, O Mushure, T Mamvura, C Sekete (M Murape 78th min), S Sithole, G Bello, F Mupasiri (R Mutuma 66th minute).
Gunners 1 Monomotapa 0
Hwange 5 Hardbody 1
Motor Action 2 Quelaton 0
Chicken 5 Blue Rangers 1
Highlanders 1 Buffaloes 0
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