By Eddie Chikamhi
One shot on target, just one, in 90 minutes of action. That’s what Dynamos managed yesterday in a Chibuku Super Cup group show, which was so poor, their coach Tonderai Ndiraya described it as frustrating.
The Glamour Boys were disjointed going forward, at the National Sports Stadium, it was not a surprise Herentals goalkeeper, Frank Kuchineyi, was virtually on holiday, the entire match.
Winger Jarrison Selemani had the only shot on target for DeMbare, and that came with 20 minutes, into the game.
Signs of poor match fitness were clearly evident as both teams struggled to find their feet, the entire 90 minutes, with too many stray passes and a number of errors.
Although action was limited, at both ends of the field, the Students asked more questions than their established opponents.
Clemence Zimondi, Gibson Chaibva, the ageless 49-year-old Innocent Benza, and second-half substitute, Blessing Majarira, all came close.
Although both teams could draw comfort from the fact that all the Group One games ended in stalemates, this was the first match, in the entire tournament, which failed to produce goals.
“It’s a bad start for us. It’s something which we didn’t expect,’’ said Ndiraya. “I thought we were flat, Herentals were the better team today.
“They wanted it more, they were hungrier than us and they were more aggressive.
“It was just frustrating, if you ask me, I think their plan was very clear. They were just pumping the ball forward.
“But, I thought, we were in control of the second ball.
“We really were very slow on transition, when we got the ball we didn’t know what to do with it, so that was really frustrating for me and the boys.
“Psychologically, Herentals were better, they were much stronger. If you recall, I think we spent about 30 minutes, in our own half, defending.
“They were throwing all sorts of things at us. But, fortunately, we were very tight at the back but, on transition, we were not efficient, especially on the wings.
“We didn’t get the much-needed crosses. Herentals had so many players in the middle and we tried to force ourselves through the middle but it was difficult.’’
The Chibuku Super Cup returned on Saturday, in a new format that saw teams being grouped in four pools, for the first round matches.
Group One started with a 2-2 draw between CAPS United and Yadah Stars on Saturday.
Then, Harare City shared the spoils in a 1-1- draw, in an earlier match, at the giant stadium.
Dynamos and Herentals were the first teams to fire blanks in the opening matches.
Herentals, who were technically the home team, had better chances but could not make use of the opportunities.
The students featured their 49-year-old club owner, Innocent Benza, who partnered his son, Tinotenda, upfront.
The Glamour Boys went into this game amid widespread reports in the capital that their flagship sponsor, Gold Leaf Tobacco, had pulled the plug on their relationship with the club.
The two parties signed a sales and distribution agreement, two years ago, but reports claim the sponsors have not realised real value from the deal.
Club sources, though, claim the deal is still on and have dismissed the reports as fake news.
Selemani’s goal attempt for Dynamos came after 20 minutes but Herentals goalkeeper Kuchineyi had no problems with the waist-high shot.
Herentals’ Clemence Zimondi probably had the best chance of the day but he missed the target, with DeMbare ‘keeper Taimon Mvula, seemingly in a bad position, just before the break.
Defender Chinobva then made a rare venture into the Dynamos half but his long range shot swerved just wide following a poor piece of defending by the Glamour Boys.
Then there was communication breakdown between father and son inside the box as Tino and Innocent combined to waste a good opportunity to punish the lethargic DeMbare defenders.
The senior Benza was then pulled out and his replacement, Blessing Majarira, scooped his shot over the crossbar, after an exchange involving Zimondi and Tino Benza on 57 minutes.
DeMbare defender, Sylvester Appiah, then saw his header from a corner kick taken by substitute Barnabas Mushunje with seven minutes remaining before being scrambled out for a corner.
Herentals coach, Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva, was satisfied with the point.
“This is a good point for the team, looking at the nature of the team that we were playing against,’’ he said.
“Dynamos are the biggest team in the country and getting a point from them is pretty good for us, the underdogs.
“Actually, we could have won the game, looking at the chances we created but we lacked precision, in front of goal.
“We had good chances, particularly Clemence Zimondi had a chance, with almost an empty net to hit, Blessing Majarira and Innocent Benza, were in one-on-one situations, with the goalkeeper.
“Those were clear chances that, if luck was on our side today, we should, at least, have got one goal.”
F. Kuchineyi, W. Chimbetu, T. Benza, C. Zimondi (T. Mataranyika, 73rd minute), G. Chinobva, P. Chota, I. Benza (Blessing Majarira, 49th minute), D. Chitsanzara, Brighton Majarira (C. Lumbulani, 88th minute), K. Dhlamini
T. Mvula, P. Jaure, T. Muringai (T. Mawarire, 85th minute), F. Makarati, S. Appiah, T. Mavhunga, A. Maliselo, K. Nadolo (T. Chiunye, 56th minute), T. Chidhobha, T. Makanda (A. Eonde 69th minute), J. Selemani (B. Mushunje, 69th minute). The Herald