By Tadious Manyepo
He was the star of the show but Denver Mukamba says he isn’t in the mood to talk but will let his football make the headlines.
The former Zimbabwe captain was back at his very best, scoring a beauty at Mandava yesterday, as he inspired Ngezi Platinum Stars to a come-from-behind victory in this Chibuku Super Cup match.
The Mukamba of the old, who really loved the limelight, which some claim ended up deflecting his attention, would have dived into an opportunity to talk about his superb show.
Especially, after he scored a beauty of a goal, fooling not one but two Triangle defenders, bursting into the penalty area at pace, getting to the byline and, despite the tight angle, firing the ball home.
It was a superb goal, no doubt about that, a throwback to the time when he exploded on the big stage, in the colours of Dynamos.
“I am not yet commenting on my performances, let the game do the talking,” he said.
Then, just like that, he vanished into the change rooms.
Mukamba notched a beautiful brace, and impressed all afternoon, as if to remind us he is still the man, who was good enough to win the 2012 Soccer Star of the Year accolade, and even captain the Warriors.
With Ngezi Platinum chasing the game, after having fallen behind in the sixth minute through Triangle skipper Collins Dhuwa’s goal, Mukamba suddenly sprung into life.
Deployed on the left side of a three-man attack, which also had the outstanding Wellington Taderera in the centre and Nyasha Chintuli on the right, Mukamba received the ball from Anelka Chivandire.
There was a forest of defenders to deal with and only a genius would have dared take them on, which he did, with his bag of trickery.
He darted to his left, then to the right, leaving his markers well beaten, before squeezing the ball at the near post, for Ngezi’s equaliser.
He was so good, the man assigned to monitor him, Jameson Mukombwe, had to call for reinforcements from Arnold Chivheya, whenever Mukamba had possession.
Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro had to replace Mukombwe, with Tyler Mugoniwa, at the break but the later, just like the former, failed to find ways to neutralise the inspired Mukamba.
“I know what he can do,” said his coach Rodwell Dhlakama.
“But, basically all the boys played very well. I am proud of them.
“Mukamba is a top, top player. He can decide games and I am happy he helped us a lot with that brace.”
Although he appeared to be losing some steam, in the second half, apparently because of the rust which has accumulated for over 16 months of non-competitive football, Mukamba always looked dangerous, whenever he was in possession.
He can take corner kicks, very well too.
And, it was one of those, which he flighted in, 17 minutes before time, which Triangle ‘keeper Takabva Mawaya could only parry into the path of Keith Murera, who powered a hard-and-low shot goalwards, and Marvellous Mukumba was at the right place to help it home.
But Mukamba wasn’t yet done.
With Triangle pressing for an equaliser, he pressed forward, chasing for a long clearance from Polite Moyo.
He cheated the defenders who, clashed to gift Mukamba a golden chance, which he duly grabbed, to put the game to bed.
Tactically, Dhlakama outwitted his opposite number.
He deployed a formation at the beginning, with Murera and captain Qadr Amini occupying the wing-backs while Gerald Takwara and Polite Moyo partnered at centreback.
Devon Chafa formed a single man shield in front of them with Mukumba the box-to-box man.
Anelka Chivandire was right behind centre forward Wellington Taderera while Mukamba and Chintuli operated on the wings.
But, the former Chapungu gaffer would soon shift to 3-4-3 as he pressed for a goal, soon after Ngezi conceded.
The change paid dividends.
And, for someone who deployed seven newcomers, including Mukamba in the starting XI, against a team which only had three new faces, in the starting line-up, this was a perfect start for the Mhondoro side.
Mukamba’s performance served to justify why Dhlakama battled hard to convince the Ngezi hierarchy, to sign him, last year.
Mukamba is the local league’s bad boy, due to his wayward, having been expelled at both Dynamos and CAPS United.
But, Dhlakama appears to have helped him to concentrate on his football, after taking him to Chapungu and then Ngezi Platinum.
And, if the former Warriors skipper can concentrate on his football, it appears, the talent is still there for him to make a huge impact again, on the domestic front.
This was a good individual show by Mukamba, he also looked happy, and the Ngezi Platinum Stars fans can only look to the future with hope.
T. Mawaya, J. Mukombwe (Tyler Mugoniwa 45th min), B. Chikwenya, K. Gwao, A. Chiveya, D. Mudadi, G. Bero, R. Madamombe, C. Dhuwa (S. Gadzikwa 84th min), D. Murimba (R. Matema 75th min), T.January
N. Chadya, D. Chafa, D. Mukamba, P. Moyo, G. Takwara, Q. Amini, W. Taderera (M. Mushonga 87th min), A. Chivandire (N. Makumbe 60th min ), M. Mukumba (A. Makopa 87th min), K. Murera, N. Chintuli (J. Zindoga 78th min). The Herald