Dynamos took the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League championship to the last day when they narrowly beat already relegated Bantu Rovers in an adrenaline-charged encounter at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Bantu Rovers… (1) 2
Dynamos… (3) 3
Dynamos scored two quick goals in the first half with their leading scorer Christian Epoupa latching onto a Quality Kangadze cross six minutes into the game to put them in the lead.
Some fancy footwork on the left by Masimba Mambare produced the second goal in the 11th minute after he worked his way past defender Dumisani Ndlovu and spotted Epoupa, who was not selfish in the penalty box setting up Kangadze to blast the ball past goalkeeper Wellington Muuya.
A school-boy blunder by veteran Tapiwa Kumbuyani saw Bantu Rovers concede the third goal as he lost possession to Dynamos’ skipper Ocean Mushure who made a solo run and easily pushed the ball past an advancing Muuya in the 24th minute.
And that was the end of the Dynamos offensive as Bantu Rovers threw everything at them, but they could not get that goal until two minutes before the break when McCarthy Dube pulled one back from a Nyasha Garayi pass.
Tshintsha Guluva came in stronger in the second half and substitute Lucky Ndlela was brought down in the penalty box by Tichaona Chipunza and Midlands referee Thabani Bamala pointed to the spot.
Nigel Papias, on loan from FC Platinum, who had a game of his life troubling Dynamos as if he was playing for his championship-eyeing Zvishavane-based club, converted from the spot.
Thereafter, it was anxious moments for the Glamour Boys and coach Lloyd Mutasa heaved a sigh of relief when Bamala blew to end the match.
“Well done to the boys for the three goals in the first half. But we then let them come back into the game and they scored two and when a team scores two, they have the power to move forward. There was probably a little bit of tension and panicking on our side. Bantu Rovers played very good football. We are Dynamos and Dynamos being Dynamos would believe we are out of the race when it is over. We will push till the end and see what happens,” Mutasa said.
It’s a must-win for Dynamos in their last game against Chicken Inn at home, praying that FC Platinum play a draw or lose to Chapungu away at Ascot for them to be crowned champions.
Bantu Rovers coach Methembe Ndlovu said the game could have gone either way if it wasn’t for his charges’ poor start.
“The boys did their best. Unfortunately, we started very poorly, which was uncharacteristic for us. But at least we managed to regain our footing. The rest of the game was a fairly-balanced affair but we have to congratulate the winning team,” Ndlovu said.
Bantu Rovers: W Muuya, K Dzingwe (L Ndlela 46’), L Ncube, D Ndlovu, N Garayi, T Kumbuyani, P Zivengwa, S Nyahwa, N Papias, M Dube (N Mpofu 80’), M Chitambwe
Dynamos: T Mateyaunga, P Makaha, R Matova (V Kandozvo 56’), M Machazane, G Mukambi, T Chipunza, M Mambare (K Dhemere 70’), Q Kangadze (G Saunyama 86’), C Kapupurika, C Epoupa, O Mushure