Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . (2)2
Harare City . . . . . . . (1)1
Title chasing Dynamos played poorly but still did enough to collect maximum points in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match in which they were completely dominated by relegation-threatened Harare City at the National Sports Stadium in Harare yesterday.
Two first half goals from Ralph Kawondera and Ghanaian forward Emmanuel Paga ensured that DeMbare reduced the gap between them and leaders FC Platinum to six points with eight matches remaining in the season.
Midfielder Donald Mudadi got Harare City’s solitary strike sandwiched between the two Dynamos goals.
Harare City caught the eye with some fluid passing football but were let down by poor finishing as well as poor defending cost them the match.
But then again it has been the story of their season as relegation is slowly becoming a reality for the City Fathers with each passing game.
The result also meant that Dynamos recorded their first double over City since the 2017 league season.
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Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya attributed the poor performance to the pressure of playing the match after their rivals FC Platinum.
“I think firstly it’s quite difficult to play matches after your rivals have played. It tends to put pressure on our team and everyone else so it was a must (win) today and I am glad that we got the three points,” he said after the match.
“We didn’t play ‘beautifully’ so to speak because of the circumstances that I have mentioned. The players had so much pressure and some of them were not handling that pressure quite well that why we were not settled throughout the whole match.”
Dynamos began the day nine points adrift of FC Platinum and needed to win to keep the league race on and they did just that.
Kawondera controlled and blasted home after the Harare City defence failed to deal with a Godknows Murwira freekick in the 14th minute.
The midfielder could have doubled the scores, but Tawanda Dendera made a smart save to deny his thumping header halfway through the first half.
Mudadi drew Harare City level a few minutes later with a well worked team goal, getting to the end of a dangerous Stanley Masukuta cross that ricocheted off a Dynamos player, and fell graciously for him to smash home.
Harare City were unlucky not to take the lead eight minutes before the break after a swift counterattack initiated by Obert Tafira, who picked out Masukuta on the right.
The diminutive winger sent in a brilliant cross which was side footed onto the crossbar by Wilfred Muvirimi.
But it was Gh Paga who restored Dynamos’ lead the next moment, sweeping home a cross by Tinotenda Muringai.
Harare City made a double substitution at the break, bringing on Timothy January and Tendai Mukono for the ineffective Emmanuel Ziocha and Brighton Banda as they sought to salvage the game.
The City Fathers continued to probe, which some delightful passing game but the Dynamos defence remained resolute.
Masukuta had a glorious opportunity to equalise 10 minutes before fulltime but Taimon Mvula saved with his foot.
It was a frantic end to the match for DeMbare but they clung on to collect maximum points.
The losing coach Taurai Mangwiro felt the team was let down by the defence.
“It’s the manner in which we conceded. The first one was a howler, the second one again from a standard situation we went to sleep from the restart, a long switch and we were not there to clear our lines.
“We are missing it in leaking goals. Today that we let in two doesn’t tally with the manner in which we were controlling the game and the unfortunate part is it has always been like this throughout the season,” he said.
Taimon Mvula, Partson Jaure, Stephen Appiah (Emmanuel Jalai 38 min), Frank Makarati, Godknows Murwira, Emmanuel Paga(Evans Katema 78min), Trevor Mavhunga, Keith Murera, Tinotenda Muringai, Ralph Kawondera (Stephen Chatikobo 78 min), Alex Orotomal (Tinashe Makanda 58 min)
Tawanda Dendera, Emmanuel Ziocha (Timothy January 46min), Brighton Banda (Tendai Mukono 46min), Innocent Zambezi, Zvikomborero Biseki, Donald Dzvinyai, Wilfred Muvirimi (Alex Zimunhu 77min), Stanley Masukuta, Obert Tafira, Donald Mudadi (Emmanuel Zinyama 64min), Hastings Chapusha
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