By Eddie Chikamhi
Attacking midfielder Junior Selemani saved the day for sluggish Dynamos when he scored the solitary goal that handed the Harare giants a crucial win on the bounce in a Castle Lager Premiership football match against Yadah at Rufaro yesterday.
Mbare-born Selemani drilled home a low shot after he was set up by skipper Edward Sadomba inside the box two minutes after the interval to hand new coach Tonderai Ndiraya his second win in the three games he has supervised so far.
Although the Harare giants ensured they continued from where they left off last week when they beat ZPC Kariba by the same scoreline, Ndiraya was understandably flustered by his team’s lethargy.
Yadah started off on the front foot and piling on the pressure early in the game as DeMbare, who were technically the away team yesterday, struggled to find their rhythm.
On a good day, Yadah could have at least went to the breather with a goal in the bag after forcing their opponents to defend five corner kicks inside the first 13 minutes while their goalkeeper was unperturbed the whole first half.
“I am satisfied in terms of the result but obviously I am not satisfied with the performance. I thought we were a bit sluggish today especially in the first half.
“We didn’t do well in the first 20 minutes when we conceded about six corner kicks plus free-kicks, which is not good enough for a big team like ours.
“That was very poor and if Yadah were clinical, if they had more aggression, we could have been punished in those first few minutes.
“But credit to the boys they defended well. I thought largely in the first 20 minutes we were on the back-foot. Sadly also we didn’t take any shot on goal in the first half save for the free-kick by Tinotenda Muringai.
“The general play was not good and those are the things we need to work on and make sure that when tougher teams come we will be prepared.
“The second half was much better; we got the goal but still the performance wasn’t up to scratch. But look we mustn’t forget where we are coming from. We had so many difficulties, we are recovering.
“We are limping but at least we are walking. I am happy we fought to the end, we protected our lead and we got the result that we wanted,” said Ndiraya.
Yadah controlled most of the play with Leeroy Mavhunga and Morris Musiyakuvi a constant threat in the DeMbare territory. But they could not create clear-cut chances for their marksman Ralph Matema who was quite the whole afternoon before he was hauled off late in the second half.
DeMbare skipper Sadomba had the ball in the nets after 27 minutes after he stole possession from goalkeeper Liberty Chirava as he prepared to dispatch the ball from a restart.
Sadomba was swift to block the unsuspecting keeper and hit the back of the nets. However, the referee adjudged a foul was committed during the tussle as medics were called in to attend to the sprawling goalkeeper.
Yadah were conceding too many set-pieces towards the end of the first half. Muringai decided to go direct at goal from another free-kick in the 44th minute and was denied by the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
Chirava was called to action again with 15 minutes remaining when he saved a dangerous free-kick from Selemani with his feet after substitute Vialli Tadzoka was brought down just outside the box.
DeMbare’s best man on the pitch Emmanuel Jalai created another good chance when he made a determined run down the right flank and squared the ball but Tawanda Chisi shot wide from a good position.
Dynamos’ appeals for penalty in the 83rd minute were turned down after Yadah midfielder Enock Karembo slipped inside the box and handled the ball under pressure to defend from a corner.
But Yadah had DeMbare on the back foot again in the last few minutes following the introduction of the attacking trio of Wellington Kamudyariwa, Issa Ali and Manuel Meleka.
Their coach Genesis Mangome was disappointed by the defeat considering the dominance by his team in this game.
“We lacked that maturity. We have always tried and highlight that we need to concentrate at the beginning of the game and when we are going to the breather. Then we need again maximum concentration from the breather but we lacked that and they got the goal.
“But then when playing a team like Dynamos it’s always very difficult to come back when they get the lead. We tried everything but they defended as a team and fought hard for that goal,” said Mangome.
Yadah: L. Chirava, W. Kalongonda, B. Chikwenya, B. Madzokere, A. Makopa, E. Karembo, B. Biseki (W. Kamudyariwa, 74th minute), L. Mavhunga, M. Musiyakuvi (M. Meleka, 74th minute), J. Sibanda, R. Matema (I. Sadiki, 77th minute).
Dynamos: S. Chinani, E. Jalai, T. Muringai, J. Tigere, M. Mawadza, T. Chisi, T. Moffat (V. Tadzoka, 66th minute), A. Maliselo, J. Selemani, T. Macheke (K. Dhemere, 90th minute) , E. Sadomba. The Herald