By Eddie Chikamhi
Harare City . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Cameroonian striker Christian Epoupa Joel Ntoupa struck a beauty, a goal whose quality is rarely seen on the domestic front, to earn the Glamour Boys a crucial win over struggling Harare City at the National Sports Stadium and ease the pressure on coach Lloyd Mutasa.
Epoupa’s classy 35th minute goal brightened an otherwise dull night encounter as DeMbare ground a victory they needed to ease pressure on the technical bench after the former champions had failed to secure maximum points in their last three outings.
DeMbare supporters were beginning to lose faith with their coaching staff and team, but the win yesterday bought some time for Mutasa and his men ahead of another tricky tie against Sunday Chidzambwa’s ZPC Kariba at the same venue on Sunday.
Epoupa, who was on target in the last match which ended 1-1 against Shabanie Mine, continued with his goal-scoring form when he expertly volleyed home from inside the box after Harare City had failed to clear their lines from a corner kick.
The Cameroonian, with his back to goal, was able to pick his spot with a curling shot, hit with both accuracy and technique, that gave goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupangedengu no chance after Dynamos had forced two corner kicks in quick succession. “If you look at the goal, to us as the technical team, it was a wonder goal, a goal from a great striker and it was worth to win us three points,” said Mutasa.
Still DeMbare have a lot of work to do to redeem themselves after losing ground early in the race. Mutasa was also man enough to point out that his team did not play well as they could not maintain the flow of the game.
The passing was appalling from both sides as scoring opportunities remained few and far between. “I think we created chances, but like every other day we only managed to convert one. But the good part is we managed to score and never conceded.
“If our memory serves us well, I think we turned the corner last time when we played Harare City here and went about nine games unbeaten. ‘’I would like to believe this has to be the turning point. “If we manage to take three points again I am sure it will enhance our chances of going forward,” said Mutasa.
Harare City were looking for a fresh start under new coach Philani ‘’Beefy’’ Ncube who took over from Mike Madzivanyika this week.
Ncube was disappointed with his team after the Sunshine Boys wasted the few chances they created.
Substitute Protash Kabwe could have at least found the equaliser 10 minutes after the breather when he got to the end of a good cross from Martin Vengesai, but he could not connect with his head.
Then DeMbare goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga almost gifted them with a goal on a silver platter when he spilled the ball from a corner kick, but Ocean Mushure was on guard to clear from the line.
Ncube was happy with the positive signs that he saw in his team. “The potential is there. If only we had scored from our chances the match could have been different. We were the better side, definitely.
‘’I know Dynamos were under pressure and we were also under pressure, but we were the better side. Our conversion rate was poor. They only had one chance and they scored,” said Ncube.
Harare City: M. Nyamupangedengu, T. Chimwemwe, P. Mpelele, J. Tigere, R. Uchena, T. Samanja, E. Zinyama (G. Kufandada, 77th min), W. Manondo, M. Gaki (P. Kabwe, 41st min), J. Chipangura (H. Chimutimunzeve, 58th min), M. Vengesai
Dynamos: T. Mateyaunga, P. Makaha, O. Mushure, M. Machazane, L. Zvasiya, O. Mwerahari, T. Chipunza, E. Mandiranga (D. Mukamba, 77th min), M. Mambare ( T. Sadiki, 67th min), Q. Kangadze (W. Mutasa, 86th min), C. Epoupa. The Herald