FOR the first time in the Mbada Diamonds Cup, there will be a winner whose name isn’t Dynamos. The Glamour Boys’ dominance of the tournament finally came to an end yesterday when they fell to Premiership new-boys How Mine in a quarter-final match at Rufaro yesterday writes Eddie Chikhami.
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
How Mine . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Former Motor Action midfielder Thembani Masuku scored the priceless goal in the 28th minute to send a lifeless DeMbare crashing out of a tournament they had virtually personalised after dominating the first two editions.
DeMbare fans, who had come to believe this was their property and wanted their team to win the Mbada Diamonds Cup and get it for keeps this year, cut long faces as they left the stadium with a few minutes remaining.
Dynamos would have received the trophy for good if they had won it this year after winning it in succession in the last two seasons, but their dream was shattered by the most unlikely of opponents.
How Mine sailed through to the last eight courtesy of a 1-0 win over Black Rhinos at Barbourfields two weeks ago and will now be joined by CAPS United, Highlanders and Harare City in the semi-finals.
Masuku broke Dynamos’ hearts when he reacted quickly to a nice move and connected a low shot on the run after being set up by man-of-the-match Menard Mupera from a free-kick just outside the box.
The ball deceived the entire DeMbare defence, including goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi, and Partson Jaure’s frantic efforts on the line could only aid it into the back of the nets in a crowded box.
And with the way How Mine fought for every ball the whole match, Dynamos, who have been completely out of sorts in the last two weeks, just could not find a way back.
Skipper Murape Murape was denied by the upright just a few minutes after his introduction in the second half, but that was the closest they could get despite all their toiling, which appeared devoid of inspiration and direction.
Roving wing-backs Oscar Machapa and Ocean Mushure were heavily involved in the forays, but on most occasions their aerial balls into the box were poor and were easily thwarted by the How Mine players, leaving strikers Clive Kawinga and Simba Sithole marooned in opposition territory.
It was always going to be difficult, particularly for Sithole, after being thrown into the deep end on his return from South Africa last week.
However, midfielder Cliff Sekete has a right to feel he was let down by his teammates as he was full of running the whole afternoon, but finding no complementary efforts from the other boys in blue upfront.
If anything, How Mine appeared tactically superior using the length and the width of the pitch with man-of-the-match Mupera and goal-scorer Masuku playing vital roles in the midfield engine room, while experience won it for veterans Hebert Dick, Nyasha Mukumbi and Gilbert Banda at the back.
Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa was at a loss for words as his club appears to have lost the steam when it matters most following a run of poor performances in their last three matches in both the League and Cup competitions.
“It’s very unfortunate that we lost the game, but like I said, cup games are games of chances. They got one chance and they buried it but the whole day we couldn’t get a goal,” said Pasuwa.
“It’s very sad for the Dynamos family but at the end of the day we would like to say thumbs up to How Mine. They played very well hence they won the game.”
How Mine coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube, who claimed that he has “never lost to Dynamos fairly,” was elated by the victory as it brought back memories of the 2009 Independence Trophy final in which he led Njube Sundowns to a 1-0 win over the Harare giants at the National Sports Stadium.
Ncube was on cloud nine yesterday as he praised his charges for their disciplined performance and said winning a place in the last four was a big bonus for his side, which is playing its first Mbada Diamonds Cup tournament.
How Mine were promoted this year, but have a wealth of tried-and-tested campaigners in their fold.
“Everybody has not given us a chance, including the journalists, considering the questions that they asked me. It was like we were coming here to fulfil the match but the unfortunate part is I grew up in Harare, I know what is happening in Harare.
“It’s not a new place, I used to stay here in Mbare and I trained with the Dynamos juniors. There is no trick that I don’t know here in Harare. It’s like I was also at home,” said Ncube.
Once again the sickening beliefs in juju took centre stage before kick-off with Dynamos manager Richard Chihoro and an official from How Mine creating an ugly scene on the pitch before they were hauled out by police and security personnel.
The former Njube Sundowns and Chicken Inn mentor, an admirer of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, however dismissed the power of juju and said it was only mind games at play.
Ncube said they had prepared well for the match after studying Dynamos’ weaknesses and they proved that their 1-0 win in the league campaign in Bulawayo was no fluke.
“Our game plan was spot on. We knew Ocean Mushure was going to venture forward and the other guy was also going to play forward and Jaure doesn’t have pace,” said Ncube.
“(That Dynamos are not playing well) wasn’t my problem. It was their problem, we were not under any pressure. Playing Dynamos in itself is a big motivation and if you put US$100 more as an incentive, then we will be prepared to die on the field.
“But Dynamos are a good side even though they made mistakes here and there. They really played well but the finishing part of it really let them down and now I feel sorry for them.”
Dynamos — A. Mukandi, O. Machapa, O. Mushure, G. Bello, P. Jaure, T. Magorimbo, C. Sekete, T. Muparati (B. Zirintusa, 71st minute), R. Madamombe (M. Murape, 57th minute), C. Kawinga (F. Mupasiri, 59th minute), S. Sithole.
How Mine — E. Mazarura, B. Dube, K. Banda, H. Dick, G. Banda, X. Moyo (W. Dube, 85th minute), M. Mupera, N. Mukumbi, S. Sithole (N. Mpala, 70th minute), Q. Sibanda (O. Mpofu, 70th minute), T. Masuku. The Herald