Dynamos . . . . . . . (0) 0
Highlanders . . . . (0) 2
IT HAS been a horror script for ailing former champions Dynamos so far.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
First it was CAPS United who ended their seven-year wait to beat them in the league, then came FC Platinum winning against them in Harare for the first time since they were promoted.
And then yesterday, after 10 years of waiting, Highlanders finally came good against their archrivals. All these jinxes broken just eight weeks into the new season.
Bosso needed a princely performance by 18-year-old starlet Prince Dube, who scored one and orchestrated another at Rufaro Stadium to roll back years for the Bulawayo giants.
Methembe Ndhlovu’s title-winning Bosso side was the last team to beat DeMbare, triumphing 2-0 and now it’s Dutch coach Erol Akbay who has done it again with the same margin.
Having done it in his first season in charge, the win is just as good as any other to him.
“Every time I win I feel happy. For Highlanders fans, it’s 10 years since we beat them, but for me today was just another league match, just a normal game. We had to try three different tactics and it worked. At the end of the game, we have three points and that is the most important thing today,” he said after the match, clearly oblivious of the magnitude of this victory for the Highlanders family.
Instead, Akbay had so much praise for his in-form starlet Dube.
“He is a more important player for us now. Every week he is scoring and today against Dynamos for an 18-year-old I am very happy about his performances,” he said.
But legend has it that a spell had been cast on Highlanders following the death of a Dynamos supporter Taribo West at the hands of Highlanders fans a decade ago and it was believed Bosso would not beat Dynamos unless the man’s spirit was appeased.
When Dube’s rising shot beat Tatenda Mukuruva in the Dynamos goal 12 minutes after the restart, there remained an eerie feeling that the Glamour Boys could still come back as they have done countless times.
After all, Dynamos had the lion’s share of opportunities, but the strikers were found wanting in front of goal.
But when Bruce Kangwa netted the second in the 76th minute, there was no holding back for Highlanders fans as they erupted into song and dance, while DeMbare fans started trickling out, probably to beat the traffic.
Now it feels as if the curse has come back to haunt Dynamos. They hit the woodwork three times and ended up losing by two goals to nil.
They have failed to score a single goal in their home ground in five attempts this season and are now languishing in 12th place on the log standings.
What is happening to Dynamos, a team that won four consecutive league titles between 2011 and 2014?
Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa is not pushing the panic button yet.
“We have played less than 10 matches for now so let’s not talk of the decline of the team as we progress because I think we still have matches to make up for this slump,” he said, trying to put on a brave face after the match.
“I think football is about taking chances and Highlanders took their chances and that made the difference. We need to work on our weaknesses. You could see our conversion rate is not up there and that’s an area we need to work much on,” Mutasa added.
Mutasa, who took over from sacked Portuguese coach Paulo Jorge Silva, was given five matches to prove himself but he has already lost twice.
It won’t be a surprise if a new man stands in the dugout for DeMbare this week.
There was a heavy police presence at the match venue before and during the match. The Premier Soccer league was not taking chances after the violence that erupted in Dynamos’ last home match which ended in defeat.
Highlanders fashioned their first chance after just 90 seconds when Kangwa’s curling attempt was acrobatically saved by Mukuruva.
After that it was all DeMbare with Farai Mupasiri hitting the crossbar from inside the box.
Carlos Rusere and Ocean Mushure fluffed other chances for the hosts.
In the second half, substitute Bret Amidu hit the post after Arial Sibanda had palmed Murwira’s free kick into his path.
At two nil down in the dying stages, Dynamos pressured for a consolation goal, but the closest they got to getting one was when another substitute Kelvin Bulaji hit the post from an angle.
Dynamos: T. Mukuruva, O. Mwerahari, O. Mushure, S. Linyama, E. Muroyiwa, S. Alimenda, G. Murwira, D. Mukandi( E. Gwekerere 58′), R. Kawondera ( K. Bulaji 52′), F. Mupasiri, C. Rusere (B. Amidu 45′)
Highlanders: A. Sibanda, B. Phiri, F. Chindungwe, H. Moyo, E. Mudzingwa, B. Kangwa (A. Silla 84′), P. Dube, S. Munawa. R. Kutsanzira (T. Ngulube 53′), K. Nadolo (B. Banda 80′), K. Mutizwa