BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
DYNAMOS . . . . . 0
HERENTALS . . . . 0
HARARE football giants Dynamos failed to live up to the hype that characterised their preseason after a lacklustre show against Herentals in the Chibuku Super Cup Group 1 encounter at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
The Glamour Boys were one of the busiest teams in the transfer market, having recruited several stars and expectations were high that they would deliver a polished performance to see off modest Herentals in their opening match of the tournament. But after the draw, they were left licking their wounds, pondering over the consequences of failure and the right path for the future.
The lifeless show earned them a single point in their bid to win the trophy, which has been stubbornly elusive since its return some seven years ago.
Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya admitted that his side was lucky to come out of the match unscathed.
“I thought we were flat and Herentals were better today, they wanted it more. They were more hungry and more aggressive, it was just frustrating,” he said.
“We have to work on mental strength and get a result and maximum points in the next match. We have time to recover, but I always say to the boys that our institution is for results and if we don’t switch on and really push hard for a result, then it becomes difficult for us.”
The DeMbare mentor added: “I thought it was a good wake-up call for us, particularly some of the new players in the team. I thought we were a bit casual in our approach to the game and Herentals took control of the game.”
While Ndiraya was left disappointed with the team’s performance, his Herentals counterpart Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva was satisfied with the result which he believed would spur his charges to do better.
“A good point for the team looking at the nature of the opponent that we were playing today. They are a big team, I think the largest team in the country, so getting a point against them is pretty good for us,” he said.
“We were the underdogs I think. Before the match, people were predicting the scoreline that you could not even imagine, so when you pick a point against them, it gives you more confidence going into the next match.”
Matches between Dynamos and Herentals have recently proved to be exciting since the latter’s promotion in 2017, but yesterday’s encounter exposed the lack of match fitness between both sides after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dynamos struggled to create any meaningful chances throughout the encounter while Herentals were unlucky not to come out with a win after having good opportunities.
The Harare giants had to wait until the 20th minute to get their first shot on target through Jarrison Selemani, who shot straight at the goalkeeper.
Herentals had the best chance of the half when Tino Benza, who started the match alongside his father and team owner Innocent, missed a clear goal from outside the box after DeMbare goalkeeper Timoni Mvula had come off his goal to make a clearance before making a mess of it.
After a lifeless first half, it was Herentals who looked more likely to break the deadlock.
Blessing Majarira, who had just come in for the team owner Innocent, made a miss of the season on 57 minutes when he skied his effort from the six-yard box with the DeMbare keeper badly exposed.
The lucky escape appeared to be a wake-up call for Dynamos, with Ndiraya immediately taking off an off colour King Nadolo for Tino Mushunje.
Although Dynamos began to knock the ball around with some confidence, they still lacked penetration to prise open the Herentals defence.
It’s an indictment on DeMbare’s lack of firepower that their best chance of the match came from a header by defender Sylvester Appiah from a corner kick which was cleared off the goalline on the 85th minute.
Tinashe Makanda, who had been entrusted with leading the attack, had a poor showing before being replaced by former FC Platinum striker Albert Eonde, who was also ineffective after being given the last 30 minutes.
Dynamos: T Mvula, P Jaure, F Mukarati, S Appiah, T Muringai (T Mawarire, 85), T Mavhunga, K Nadolo (T Chiunye, 57), A Maliselo, T Chidhobha, J Selemani (B Mushunje, 69), T Makanda (A Eonde, 69)
Herentals: F Kuchineyi, W Chimbetu, T Benza, C Zimondi (T Mataranyika, 75), G Chinobva, F Murapa, P Chota, I Benza (B Majarira, 47), D Chatsanzara, B Majarira, K Dhlamini
- Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielnhakaniso