It was a Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs affair last Wednesday at the new Maxaquene Stadium in Maputo as Zimbabwe beat Mozambique 3-1.
Given an opportunity to shine away from home, without the nonsense associated with the build-up to the Cape Verde Islands Afcon qualifier last month, five players from the two of the richest clubs in the SA league did just show a difference in quality football.
From Kaizer Chiefs came rock-solid defender Thomas Sweswe, midfielder general Tinashe Nengomasha and young sensational striker Knowledge Musona.
From Patrice Motsepe’s billions of Mamelodi came the irrepressible Esrom Nyandoro, steady defender Method Mwanjali and hitman Nyasha Mushekwi.
With six such players in the same team plus hungry-for-success, Tapuwa Kapini, Daniel Vheremu, Zephaniah Ngodzo, Tafadzwa Rusike and Oscar Machapa, where would a coach go wrong, unless there are other things that affect the team other than play?
Dropped for the Liberia Afcon match for being “too old”, Nengomasha (31) and Nyandoro (30) redefined that and showed that there is nothing called old, but there is something called experience which needs to be passed on to the younger players.
Nengomasha and Nyandoro were given free roles in the anchorman’s position with acting head coach Madinda Ndlovu letting them organise themselves as they saw fit when one wanted to attack. When Nengomasha pushed to support in attack, Nyandoro dropped back to protect his defence.
Protecting the defence gave skipper Mwanjali time to organise his defence, read the game from the back and join in attack when need be.
This was more evident when the team switched to a 3-5-2 formation as they sought to add more men in midfield to get an opener. That unsettled the Mambas and when a small opportunity arose for Musona, he poked the opener home.
The move had started at the back with Vheremu playing Mwanjali whose shot pass was collected by Nengomasha to launch an attack.
Nyandoro stayed back to cover his defence.
Nengomasha’s square pass to Musona, attacking from the left, made sure the Chiefs man ran at the defence into the box until they pushed the ball for a corner.
Nyandoro curled it in for his Sundowns teammate Mushekwi to power home.
It was all brewed at Sundowns and Chiefs again for the third goal when Mwanjali played Nyandoro to turn the ball to Musona, who slid a short one for Mushekwi to blast home.
Despite the win, the result of the match, perhaps, shows there is something wrong with our football and recent examples paint a bad picture and leave more questions than answers.
Lloyd Chitembwe was the coach at Caps United but failed to produce results despite a galaxy of stars.
Moses Chunga came and used the same players to stroll to five successive victories, while the career of Pride Tafirenyika blossomed again.
Goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda became the star dead ball specialist.
At Highlanders, Egyptian coach Mohammed Fathi huffed and puffed and eventually quit before Mkhuphali Masuku took over.
He reached the final of the Zaoga Golden Jubilee Charity Shield and won seven successive league matches to lead the Bulawayo giants to third place in the Premiership.
For the Warriors, we shall not speak much.
But is it not the same players that did duty against Liberia and Cape Verde, producing a miserable two points, before producing a commanding win in a friendly?
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