From Ricky Zililo in BULAWAYO
Highlanders…………………………… (1) 1
Dynamos………………………………. (2) 2
CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League champions Dynamos put one hand on the Bob 89 Super Cup following their 2-1 victory over perennial rivals in the first leg of the final played at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
DeMbare captain Tawanda Muparati, who had a brilliant game, put the Harare giants ahead on the half-hour mark with a left shot from the edge of the box after turning his marker twice.
The goal was Dynamos’ first attempt at goal, having played second fiddle to Highlanders who had dominated for the better part of the game, but failed to turn their dominance into goals.
Former Black Mambas striker Patrick Kumbula made it two for Dynamos in the 33rd minute when he beat Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda point blank after being set through by Muparati who had quickly taken a free-kick from DeMbare’s half.
Two minutes later, Highlanders’ striker Beaven Chikaka pulled one back for the Bulawayo giants, heading home a Bruce Kangwa seemingly harmless cross from the left to give Bosso supporters hope and shutting DeMbare hopefuls’ mouths.
Highlanders’ gaffer Kelvin Kaindu conceded defeat, but was not amused with the referee’s officiating.
He said another official could have handled it better than Mlindeli Ndebele.
“Dynamos got two chances and they made the most out of them. To me, honestly, I have never complained about the referee, but if you look at the goals that Dynamos scored the referee had a hand in them because he made some errors which cost us big time.
“The fouls he gave away were suspicious and as my players were trying to retreat and recover, Dynamos caught us on a break,” said Kaindu.
Highlanders dominated the Harare giants from the first whistle, showing their intentions to win and forcing a corner in the first minute when defender Patson Jaure cleared to safety a defence splitting pass from Chikaka after Graham Ncube had sent his Highlanders counterpart through.
The first 30 minutes belonged to Highlanders as Dynamos were forced into their own half with Stephen Alimenda and Devon Chafa playing second fiddle to Highlanders’ midfielders.
DeMbare skipper Muparati was assigned to keep a close eye on last season’s Soccer Star of the Year runner-up Masimba Mambare.
In the 13th minute, Ndebele should have given Gift Bello of Dynamos a red card after the DeMbare defender intentionally handled a through ball to Chikaka as the last man.
But when everyone at the stadium, including DeMbare faithfuls were expecting to see a red coloured card, Ndebele flashed a yellow card.
Six minutes later, Peter Moyo forced Dynamos’ goalkeeper George Chigova to come out of his line and clear his defence splitting pass intended for Ncube.
By then, it was clear that Dynamos wanted to catch Highlanders on counter attacks as they laid back and waited for Bosso to come at them. Twice before the half hour mark Bello sent long passes to Khumbula who was caught offside.
“They pressed us in midfield in the first half and I am glad that my players defended well. We wanted to get them on the break but Boban Zirintusa failed to come to party maybe because he was overwhelmed by the occasion.
“We have to work on our defence and I believe togetherness will make Dynamos stronger,” said Dynamos’ coach Callisto Pasuwa.
In the second half, Lawson Nkomo should have equalised for Highlanders in the 50th minute but his curler from outside the box missed the target by inches.
Kumbula also miscued for Dynamos in the 59th minute as he tried to connect an Ocean Mushure free kick from the right.
Highlanders had another chance that went begging in the 69th minute when defender gangly Dumisani Ndlovu headed wide a Kangwa corner unmarked in the box. It was Highlanders’ best chance of the second half.
Dynamos fans sitting at the Mpilo end threw missiles at Ndebele late in the second half when he tried to give DeMbare’s keeper Chigova a yellow card for time wasting. After the final whistle, police had to fire teargas canisters after sporadic scenes of violence erupted. The Chronicle
Highlanders: A Sibanda, L Nkomo, D Ndlovu, B Kangwa, I Mapuranga, M Maphosa (A Ndiweni, 79th minute), B Ncube (H Masuku, 46 minute), G Ncube (C Dube, 60th minute), P Moyo, B Chikaka, M Mambare)
Dynamos: G Chigova, D Chafa, G Bello, T Magorimbo, T Muparati, M Murape (C Sekete, 71st minute), P Jaure, O Mushure, S Alimenda, B Zirituntsa, P Khumbula (F Mupasiri, 78th minute).
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