DeMbare turn the heat on Bulls with win
By Augustine Hwata
Motor Action ………….… (0) 1 Dynamos ………..….(1) 2
Harare giants Dynamos turned up the heat on leaders Motor Action when they overcame the Mighty Bulls in a dramatic top-of-the-table Premiership clash at Rufaro yesterday. The Mighty Bulls still remain on top of the table with 58 points, but their lead has been cut to just one point following DeMbare’s hard fought win via goals by Evans Gwekwerere and Washington Arubi in this lively Harare derby clash.
DeMbare could now go top of the table if they beat champions Gunners in their outstanding tie at the same venue on Wednesday. Yesterday’s Harare derby failed to surpass last week’s figure of 18 000 paying fans when 10 683 passed through the turnstiles. The game attracted nearly 12 000 fans and grossed US$36 737 while the match between CAPS and Dynamos raised $63 000.
But Dynamos will be more concerned about the three crucial points they garnered on a day when as has seemingly become the norm, they were given a good run for their money and often played second fiddle to their opponents. Dynamos have, however, somehow mustered the art of grinding out results even when life has been made very difficult for them by their opponents.
Gwekwerere gave Dynamos the lead in the 35th minute when he nodded in a cross from Thabani Kamusoko past veteran goalkeeper Marlon Jani. The dreadlocked Kamusoko gained space inside the box on the right then sent in a high ball that Gwekwerere headed home, despite a flimsy challenge from Milton Ncube. The Mighty Bulls levelled terms from the spot in the 48th minute when Dynamos defender Guthrie Zhokinyi handled inside the box.
Zhokinyi fell and handled as he tried to thwart an attack from Enasio Peresu. Allan Gahadzikwa beat Arubi from the resultant penalty and the match seemed to be heading for a draw as both teams struggled to beat each other’s defence. But it was the Mighty Bulls who appeared to have a slight advantage in midfield where their skipper Bekhimpilo Ncube and Charles Sibanda made some exciting touches but could not take precise and powerful shots at goal.
Dynamos also had their own moments in the second half with David Kutyauripo, who was making a return to the side after having been sidelined for Phillip Sithole in the derby against CAPS United, a lively figure on the right flank. Just like most such high profile games, there was tension, tackles were flying and either side trod cautiously especially at the back.
But nine minutes from time, the game threatened to spiral out of control after Harare referee Ruzive Ruzive correctly awarded Dynamos a penalty after Sam Mutenheri tried a Luis Suarez antic when using his hand to try and block what should have been Gwekwerere’s second goal. The ball then fell to goalkeeper Jani to gather but Ruzive had correctly sotted the infringement. Dynamos players wanted the goal to stand while the Motor Action players mobbed the referee in protest over the awarding of the penalty.
Despite making the right decision in awarding the penalties on both ends of the field, Ruzive will, on reflection, probably realise that he was too lenient in his punishments to the players, as he should have sent off Mutenheri and later Jani for persistently remonstrating with him. Matters came to a head when Ruzive ordered a retake of the Dynamos penalty with Murape Murape having missed the initial effort.
Ruzive was again spot-on in noticing that at least four Motor Action players had encroached into the box as Murape was taking his penalty but his decision riled the Mighty Bulls with veteran goalkeeper Jani leading the protests and almost manhandling the referee.
It had to take the wise and mature intervention of the seasoned Motor Action coaching pair of Joey Antipas and David George to rush onto the pitch and restrain their players. Rarely have we seen such maturity from local coaches, most of who actually order their players off the pitch when they feel hard done by a refereeing decision. But George and Antipas kept their cool and felt the game needed to come to a logical conclusion in as much as they were not happy with some of Ruzive’s decisions.
That incident became the talking point of the day as the Motor Action protests forced a seven-minute stoppage. According to Law 14 of the rules of the games, a referee can make a decision to have the penalty retaken if the players have encroached into the box. But still there was more to the drama and tension when Arubi stepped up to replace Murape in taking the penalty when some Mighty Bulls players were expecting Murape to try and have a second attempt instead of the original taker Murape.
It is permissible to change the penalty taker in the event of a retake being ordered. When the stand-off between the Mighty Bulls players and the referee had thawed, Arubi held his nerve to beat his opposite number Jani with a shot that hit the roof of the net and sent the Dynamos fans into delirium while the Motor Action fans were livid. Had the penalty not been retaken, Murape would have been the villain for the second week after his face-to-face miss against Edmore Sibanda of CAPS United.
With Dynamos taking the lead, there was tension in the game which was punctuated by some rough play, especially from Motor Action players and it remains a mystery how Jani lasted the whole game. Despite losing his head towards the end, Jani had done well to keep Dynamos at bay with some crucial saves. In the first half, former national Under–23 goalkeeper Jani, parried away an attempt from Benjamin Marere who was sleeping on duty for most of the afternoon yesterday.
The game had kicked off on a slow pace with both teams struggling to find the rhythm although the Mighty Bulls’ Ncube and Sibanda were more enterprising and left an impression but no scores. Sibanda turned Zhokinyi inside and then created space on the right before firing a rising effort that Arubi pushed out for a corner in the 39th minute.
Murape played with the same passion he has been exhibiting since his return to the fold when he overrode three tackles from Ncube, Muten-heri and Edward Tembo before Jani, once again saved the day for Motor Action. Dynamos suffered an early set back of losing Wonder Sithole through an injury in the sixth minute but once again coach Elvis Chiweshe did not have the guts to throw a creative midfielder like Archieford Gutu into the fray.
Instead, he opted for a more defence minded player in Khumbulani Banda and then appeared to have realised his shortcomings in the 54th minute when he hauled off Banda and finally introduced Gutu. Gutu and fellow substitute Desmond Maringwa added flair to the Dynamos attack and created anxious moments for the Mighty Bulls defence. Dynamos assistant coach Tichaona Diya was a happy man and said they would now shift their focus on the game against Gunners where victory could send to them to the top.
“Like we said before, this was a must-win game and I am happy that they guys have done that. It was a tough game but I am glad that we have won the three points and reduced the gap. The game against Motor Action is now water under the bridge and we will not look at how they play in the next game but focus on our games against Gunners. We are just one step away from going to the top of the log and the hope is to collect maximum points in the remaining games,” said Diya.
While Diya was celebrating, Antipas was not pleased with the match officials while Jani had no kind words for the referees. In fact, Jani charged menacingly towards the referee after the match and had to be restrained again. Ruzive and his crew had to be escorted out of the field by police details.
Motor Action: M. Jani, E. Tembo, T. Ndlovu, I. Masame, S. Mutenheri, M. Ncube, E. Peresu, C. Sibanda, B. Nyoni, M. Longwe (T. Ushe 69th min), A. Gahadzikwa
Dynamos: A. Arubi, B. Tuwaya, D. Kutyauripo, G. Magariro, G. Zhokinyu, M. Makopa, B. Marere, M. Murape, W. Sithole (K. Banda 6th min (A. Gutu 54th min), T. Kamusoko (D. Maringwa 69th min), E. Gwekwerere.