By Noel Munzabwa
Dynamos ……………………………………..(0) 6
GWERU- IT might still be early days but, for a man desperate to be a trusted gunman who can step into Cuthbert Malajila’s big shoes, Tinei Chitora certainly made a good impression in his first game in Dynamos colours.
The rangy forward, who impressed at Blue Ribbon last season, crossed the floor to the Glamour Boys this month.
He has found himself having to deal with a lot of pressure with the spotlight falling on him as one of the players expected to lead the DeMbare forward line after Malajila moved to Maritzburg United in South Africa.
Yesterday, Chitora played his first match for the Glamour Boys in a pre-season friendly against newly-promoted Bulawayo side, Quelaton at Ascot.
And the striker started his journey, in the tricky trenches of the Glamour Boys, with a brace as Dynamos turned on the power in the second half to overrun the 2011 Southern Region Division One champions.
Chitora caught the eye last season, ironically with a strong match-winning performance in which he scored the goals that powered Blue Ribbon to a shock win over Dynamos at Rufaro.
And when veteran forward, Murape Murape, announced that he would be retiring from the game at the end of last season, Dynamos turned to Chitora to be his replacement.
But, with Malajila now gone and Chitora more comfortable playing in a central attacking role than Murape’s specilised sole wide on the flank, it appears the DeMbare technical team are preparing him to play the role left by Malajila.
And yesterday, Dynamos assistant coach, Tonderai Ndiraya, said there was a lot of potential in the forward.
“For any player to score a brace on his Dynamos debut is good and I am happy for him,” said Ndiraya.
“He has given us options upfront after we roped him in as a direct replacement for Murape Murape who had hinted on retiring.
“But we will sit down and discuss the other options.”
Chitora gave Dynamos the lead in the 59th minute and added his second in the 79th minute.
And there were two goals too, in the goal-feast, for the self-styled Dynamos Prince, Rodreck Mutuma, who made a scoring return to the Glamour Boys after his failed trials in South Africa.
Mutuma, the winner of the Golden Boot in the Castle Lager Premiership last season as DeMbare powered to the championship, saw his dream to move to Ajax Cape Town collapse at the trials’ phase.
The lanky forward told The Herald last week that while he felt he did well during his trials, he felt Ajax Cape Town were looking for a different player with a bigger physical presence to lead their line.
Declaring himself as the Dynamos Prince, Mutuma said he was now focussed on a successful season with the Glamour Boys and he is set for the long haul now with trials at Kaizer Chefs set to be put on hold.
The Amakhosi announced at the weekend, as they unveiled the signing of Zimbabwe forward Abbas Amidu to take their foreign quota to five, that they would not be signing any more players this season.
All the five foreign players at Chiefs are Zimbabweans with Tinashe Nengomasha, the sixth player, not considered a foreigner since he has a residence permit.
Mutuma appears to have switched his attention completely on another season-long romance with the Glamour Boys and scored twice yesterday as Dynamos scored half-a-dozen goals past newly-promoted Bulawayo side Quelaton.
Dynamos showed there is a vast gap between them and their newly-promoted rivals as they gave the minnows from the City of Kings a football lesson in a pre-season friendly tie at Ascot yesterday.
Quelaton showed a lot of resilience in the first half when they managed to match their more seasoned opponents who took time to settle in their first game since closing shop for the off-season.
Mutuma scored in the 84th and 89th minute.
After a goalless first half, Dynamos introduced six substitutes and the complexion of the game changed dramatically as they scored half-a-dozen goals in half an hour.
It took Dynamos all of an hour to find the breakthrough when a fine exchange of passes between Thomas Magorimbo and Denver Mukamba created the avenue for Chitora.
The striker did not let his teammates down with a good strike that opened the floodgates and torched the “Zora Butter” celebrations in the terraces. In the 71st minute, Mukamba set up Magorimbo and, on the run, the defender fired home a grounder to double DeMbare’s lead.
Chitora was back on the score sheet, for his brace, eight minutes later with another fine strike from close range and, Dynamos were 3-0 up.
It would certainly have been unfair for Mukamba not to add his name on the scoresheet, after being influential in the first three goals, and he added the fourth in the 82nd minute.
Then the show belonged to the Dynamos Prince who completed the rout.
Ndiraya conceded that there was still a lot of work for the DeMbare technical team to get the team firing again and said the players had reached 45 percent of the level that they want.
“We are still working on a lot of things since we only started preparations last week but I can say so far it’s good enough ahead of the Bob Super Cup tie against Hwange,” said Ndiraya.
“We are almost 30 percent overall while the players are almost 45 percent fit.”
Ndiraya was also impressed by the hearty show by the Bulawayo side, especially in the first half.
“I usually do not comment about other people’s jobs and other people’s teams but they are a good side and mark my words it was only fitness that affected them,” said Ndiraya.
“Look at how they matched us in the opening half.”
Quelaton coach, Thulani Sibanda, said his team was work in progress and said he was happy they held the Glamour Boys at bay for an hour.
“We only began preparations last week and obviously we are not there yet,” said Sibanda.
“It is still work in progress but we have taken our lessons.”
The talking point, for the organisers of the match, was the turn-out of the fans, which was below expectations, in a game that was widely publicised in this city.
About 1 000 fans turned up but, given that Dynamos were bringing in some big names, the organisers had gambled on getting more people into the ground.