By Eddie Chikamhi
Dynamos . . . . . .. . 0
Harare City . . . .. . 0
(Dynamos win 4-2 on penalties)
Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa says he was not entirely pleased by his side’s performance yesterday as they needed a penalty lottery to brush aside Harare City in the Independence Cup semi-final soccer tie at Rufaro. DeMbare had to labour through the 90 minutes as their opponents threw everything back at them in a rather lukewarm match that was devoid of goals.
However, the Harare giants still managed to grind a result and set up a date in the final against FC Platinum on April 18.
The platinum miners, who won the Uhuru Cup in 2012, beat Highlanders on penalties at Barbourfields in another penalty shootout after the teams were deadlocked 0-0 in regulation time.
Just like in Bulawayo, there were no goals to celebrate at Rufaro during the regulation time despite some good scoring opportunities for both teams.
Everything was, however, settled through the penalties as Dynamos got it 100 percent from their four attempts while City, who were first to take the spot kicks, missed twice from the spot with James Jam and Misheck Mburayi the culprits.
Augustine Mbara, Ronald Chitiyo, Themba Ndlovu and Cliff Sekete were on target for Dynamos while Crispen Dickson and Maxwell Nyamupangedengu scored for the Sunshine Boys.
Jam, who is usually dependable from the spot, sent his effort wide with City’s first penalty and Mburayi was denied by goalkeeper George Chigova who guessed correctly and dived to his left.
DeMbare are the holders of the cup after beating Highlanders last year in the final. Their coach Pasuwa was happy with the win, which he believes will boost their confidence ahead of the season which begins this week, but felt they would need to work harder to defend their league title.
“It’s a motivating factor considering that we have been playing in the Champions League and we were knocked out in the early stages of the competition and coming to these domestic assignments we have to pull results.
“Of course, the opposition played well, they dominated play especially in the second half and we couldn’t contain them. It’s part of the game but I am happy the guys managed to take the penalties well,” said Pasuwa.
DeMbare had started the match at a brisk pace with Ronald Chitiyo dictating the pace early on with some good touches but City soon regained composure and fought back.
The teams observed a minute of silence before kick-off in memory of former Dynamos coach Keegan Mumba who died in Zambia on Saturday night.
The rust of the off-season was showing on Harare City but there could be little excuses from the Glamour Boys who began their season earlier when playing in the Champions League.
DeMbare have been plagued by injuries and Pasuwa again had to start with Washington Pakamisa playing as a lone striker, with support from Chitiyo and Masimba Mambare.
Mambare, however, did not last the distance as he limped off the pitch just 17 minutes into the game after he appeared to have twisted his ankle while chasing a through ball into the Sunshine Boys penalty box.
He was replaced by Cliff Sekete, who made an immediate impact on the left channel with a bursting run but was impeded by Dickson. Sekete then missed a good chance at the back post from a high ball by Walter Mukanga from the resultant free-kick.
DeMbare came close in the 37th minute with a sweeping move from the midfield but the City defenders cleared their lines under immense pressure to keep the scores level at half-time. But De- Mbare did not have as many chances after the restart.
“Our main factor when playing the 4-3-3 formation is the movement of the midfielders going into the scoring positions. If you can see sometimes Pakamisa was engaging those two centre-backs and taking them into a corner and we needed two midfielders coming in as well and those chances we missed in the first half showed we are still lacking in the technical ability of scoring and we need to improve on that.
“Like I said the opposition team dominated play and if it was a league match we could have drawn. So we need a team that is strong in all departments, offensively and defensively, and we should be very compact when we lose the ball and also take time when in possession,” Pasuwa said.
Harare City had the better of the exchanges in the second half and could have silenced their opponents soon after the restart when their striker Agrippa Murimba found himself coming face to face with the goalkeeper after latching on to a ball that was sent over the DeMbare defenders.
DeMbare had Chigova to thank when the giant goalkeeper made a crucial save with an outstretched leg and then dived to his left to collect the rebound.
Murimba was at it again when he controlled a long ball but his balance failed him as he fell under challenge from the defenders.
Then substitute Talent Chawapiwa made a spirited run down the left flank and sent in a good cross which Phineas Bamusi failed to connect first time.
City coach Bigboy Mawiwi was, however, pleased by his side’s performance, especially in the second half.
“Losing on penalties is part of the game. It’s a lottery but it’s disappointing especially when you dominate the game.
“We had controlled the game although the first half we didn’t quite play well. The second half we played better and had some four or five clear chances that failed to bury.
“Overall, I am happy with our performance especially as it was our first competitive game of the year. You know Dynamos are a good side, they have been playing in the Champions League and I am happy playing with them,” said Mawiwi. The Herald
Dynamos: G. Chigova, T. Magorimbo, A. Mbara, V. Kamhuka, T. Ndlovu, S. Alimenda, R. Chitiyo, W. Mukanga, M. Mambare (C. Sekete, 71st minute), O. Machapa (T. Mabvura, 74th minute), W. Pakamisa (P. Khumbula, 64th minute).
Harare City: M. Nyamupangedengu, M. Nyenye (D. Kutyauripo, 77th minute), M. Kunyarimwe, A. Chivheya, C. Dickson, J. Jam, W. Manonfo (T. Chawapiwa, 62nd minute), N. Ziwini, A Murimba (M. Mburayi, 51st minute), M. Vengesai, P. Bamusi.