HARARE giants Dynamos maintained their unbeaten run in the new soccer season, keeping another clean sheet in the process when they beat determined Dongo Sawmill at Rufaro on Good Friday.
By our staff
The win gave the defending champions their best start to a premier league season since 2010, winning their first three encounters of the campaign to lead the standings having scored five goals with Artwell Mukandi still to concede a goal.
Once again, the Glamour Boys had to rely on the brilliance of pint-sized attacking midfielder Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo who had to dig deep into his bag of tricks to score a marvelous winner in the 83rd minute. The goal denied their opponents who had defended so well from the first whistle a single point.
Only last week, Chitiyo scored another spectacular goal which made sure DeMbare collected three precious points against Chapungu away in Gweru.
In Bulawayo, Highlanders who had a bad start to the new season, losing 2-0 to ZPC Kariba on the first day before making amends with a win away to Tsholotsho at Barbourfields, returned to their favourite hunting ground, for their first home game-beating Hwange by a solitary Webster Chingodza strike.
The goal once again came from an unfamiliar scorer, Chingodza — a defender. This should ring warning bells to Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu, that something is wrong with his strikers who have fired blanks in all the three games so far.
Defender Teenage Hadebe had to rescue the former champions with a speculative strike that caught Tsholotsho goalkeeper off guard last week.
With the victory, Highlanders rose to sixth spot on the log-table with six points from two wins and one loss after the defeat to ZPC Kariba in their first game of the season.
Bosso gaffer Mafu contends that teams will fall to Highlanders this season as they travel for another league encounter with Buffaloes at the refurbished Sakubva Stadium tomorrow.
“It was a win; an occasional win with a depleted squad. We did not have the right personnel but we grounded a win. Hopefully the injured players recover. If they [the goals] can come from anywhere then I am happy. We are just going to play like how we played today when we play Buffaloes on Monday. We are going for a win and I tell you one of these days somebody will get smacked,” Mafu said.
In Gweru, Lloyd “Samaita” Mutasa expressed satisfaction with the progress that his team, premiership debutants Whawha, has made this far after their hard fought 1-1 draw against highly rated Harare City at Ascot on Friday.
Mutasa told journalists that his charges’ start is praiseworthy although he is looking at improving going forward.
“We have started the season very well and I am happy with the performance of the team so far.
“As a coach obviously you would want to win matches at home but such is football and I take this match as a point gained.”
James Jam had thrust the visitors ahead in the first half with an audacious 30 yard drive before Marlven Nyakabangwe registered his return to premiership, restoring parity just three minutes after coming as a second half substitute to make sure Whawha remained with a point in Gweru.
The premiership new boys have two draws and one defeat in their first three league matches, but the opposition they had achieved these results against makes their start more commendable.
The prison wardens lost 2-1 to giants CAPS United in their opening match of the season, and played identical 1-1 draws against fellow wardens Flame Lilly and lately Harare City to sit on 10th position on the log table.
In all the three matches, Mutasa’s men caught the eye dominating possession with their short passing game and they have also managed to score in each and every game they have played.
In another match in Bulawayo, Chicken Inn got the better of new boys Tsholotsho with a solitary goal by veteran Clemence Matawu.
The world seems to be turning upside down for the new boys who sent shocking waves in the first day of the league by beating Harare City 1-0 away in the capital. But after that match, they lost two in a row, after losing to Highlanders last week.
Matawu took advantage of some hesitant defending by the Tsholotsho defence to slot the ball home in the 34th minute and the hosts managed to hold on for their second victory of the season.
Gamecocks coach Joey Antipas returned to winning ways after a disappointing 2-0 loss away to Harare City last week and the former Motor Action coach must take the credit for packing his midfield and denying Tsholotsho a chance to conjure attacks from the midfield.
Iziqholo zeZhwane were their own worst enemies because after surviving the early onslaught by Chicken Inn, they eased their way back into the game but lack of urgency upfront where Nixon Gama and Delight Chivunduko were chasing shadows meant they did not threaten the hosts’ goal.
Tsholotsho coach Lizwe Sweswe admitted after the match that his boys have to improve on their transition from defence into attack.
At Gwanzura, attacking midfielder Raphael Manuvire scored his fourth of the season when ZPC Kariba demolished Buffaloes 5-2.
Manuvire converted from the penalty spot in the 18th minute, before Artwell Nyamhiwa scored in the 23rd minute. Dexter Phiri was also on target in the 42nd minute with former Dynamos winger Russell Madamombe also registering his name on the score sheet in the 60th minute while Tawanda Nyamandwe completed the rout in the 90th minute.
The army side got their consolation goals from Prosper Matizanadzo and Jacob Muzokomba in the 49th and 70th minutes respectively.
The power utility-sponsored side is now in third position behind log leaders DeMbare and on fire Triangle at seven points.
The sugar Sugar Boys continued with their fine run when they dispatched army side Chapungu 3-0 at Gibbo.
Three second half goals by Praise Tonha, Pascal Manhanga and goalkeeper Ronald Mudimu made sure Triangle collected the three points to keep up with the leading giants.
Triangle moved to second position on the log table tied on seven points with ZPC but enjoy a superior goal difference.
Action continues tomorrow with more surprises expected.