By Eddie Chikamhi
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
Black Rhinos . . . . . (1) 1
RODRECK MUTUMA might have struggled to make an impact in South Africa, but the self-styled Prince remains a darling of the Dynamos faithful.
Just 24 hours after returning from an unsuccessful trial stint at Moroka Swallows, Mutuma was back in the Dynamos colours for the first time in two years and the lanky forward did not take time to re-ignite the bond that exists between him and the club’s fans, firing home the opening goal at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Mutuma has been on a 10-day trial stint at Swallows, which did not yield a deal, prompting him to return home on Saturday in the company of his manager Edzai Kasinauyo.
Dynamos, on their part, had been waiting on Mutuma, hoping too that the striker could return to bolster their attack which has been their weakest area this season.
Mutuma, who had not played competitive football for six months during an unhappy stint at Bloemfontein Celtic, headed Dynamos in front after 10 minutes, finishing off a brilliant move by Murape Murape on the right.
Despite spending a difficult time on the sidelines, the lanky forward did much with the goal yesterday to take off some load of the pressure of huge expectations placed on him.
He could have got himself a brace with a bit if some luck but his effort was cleared off the line by Obey Gada after he chipped the ball past goalkeeper Jonathan Zvaita in the second half.
However, the former Bloemfontein Celtic man at times ended up complicating things for himself and his teammates as he tried too hard to impress the “Blue Army of supporters’’ before he was eventually pulled out late on in the second half.
It took DeMbare 10 minutes to surge ahead but assistant coaches Tichaona Diya and Philemon Mutyakureva, who called the shots yesterday in the absence of head coach Callisto Pasuwa, will testify it was not an easy outing as the army side fought back like real soldiers.
Rhinos did not look like a side that was prepared to take the defeat lying down as they pulled level in the 28th minute through Nesbert Padzarondora before conceding again at the restart.
Roving left-back Ocean Mushure ensured maximum points for the defending champions just a few seconds into the second half when his shot, taken from distance, deceived goalkeeper Jonathan Zvaita.
DeMbare have been facing huge problems with their strike force and Diya felt Mutuma has made a fine start on his reunion with the team.
“It’s a good start for Rodreck. We hope he will take it up from there. He played very well and he did everything in the box. He did the running and all. We hope he will continue working hard like this but he was not 100 percent fit,” said Diya.
Veteran Murape played just a quarter an hour before he was taken out injured and with an icepack on his knee but he was brilliant in that period and his brief contribution should have left a good number among his critics dumb-stricken, especially ahead of the Harare derby against CAPS United next week.
Murape provided the assist for the first goal when he burst into the box and turned his marker Milton Kureva before delivering a delightful cross that found Mutuma in the right position.
Rhinos could have replied earlier in the 23rd minute with a header from Lot Chiunga but DeMbare goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi made a crucial save when he dived to his left to parry the ball out.
Chiunga, who was returning to the starting line-up after a month on the sidelines because of injury, could also count himself unlucky as his ferocious shot in the 77th minute came off the underside of the bar and bounced back into play with Mukandi beaten.
Arthur Tutani’s troops had lots of energy when going forward and they were rewarded for their persistence when Padzarondora found himself with space to control a good pass from Jameson Mukombwe and placing the ball wide of the diving goalkeeper for the equaliser.
The visitors made use of their right flank where Mukombwe appeared lively and sending in a flurry of crosses into the Dynamos goal.
With some bit of luck, the army side could have walked away with a point as the DeMbare defence yesterday looked unstable and made too many errors.
Mukandi then almost gifted the visitors with a goal in the 31st minute when he failed to control a back-pass from Themba Ndlovu.
Dynamos again had to scramble out a clearance following a breakdown in communication between Ndlovu and Mukandi in the 55th minute when Lincoln Samaraya slid in to challenge for the ball following a tame effort by Philip Marufu.
Nevertheless, DeMbare also had their chances in the second half and Devon Chafa should have at least atoned for his poor form yesterday with a goal but his long range shot ricocheted off the post just a few minutes after Mushure had given them the lead.
The win was a huge tonic ahead of the Harare derby against CAPS United next week as it took them back to second place on the log standings, albeit level on 26 points with the Green Machine, who temporarily took pole position following a 2-1 win over Chicken Inn at Luveve on Saturday. The Herald
Dynamos: A. Mukandi, B. Moyo, O. Mushure, T Ndlovu, P. Jaure, S. Alimenda, D. Chafa (T. Muparati, 65th minute), R. Chitiyo, M. Murape (C. Sekete, 20th minute), W. Pakamisa, R. Mutuma (F. Mupasiri, 85th minute)
Black Rhinos: J. Zvaita, J. Mukombwe, M. Kureva, O. Gada, B. Homora, D. Mbewe (W. Chakanyuka, 80th minute), L. Chiunga, P. Marufu, L. Samaraya (B. Muzondiwa, 68th minute), W. Kapinda, N. Padzarondora.