Dynamos . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . 0
Dynamos are through to the final of the Mbada Diamonds Cup after they edged FC Platinum 1-0 through an early first-half goal by Cuthbert Malajila in a tense semi-final played before a near-capacity crowd at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Malajila headed past FC Platinum goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube in the third minute to send the Glamour Boys supporters into a delirium. They held on to that goal up to the final whistle.
The goal came from a simple-looking ball, engineered by DeMbare anchorman Leo Kurauzvione who crossed the ball to Malajila. His far-post header eluded Dube.
But all credit for Dynamos should go to veteran Murape Murape. He tore the FC Platinum midfield with calculated counter-raids, but was controversially beaten to the man-of-the-match tag by his goalkeeper Washington Arubi, virtually on holiday for the entire 90 minutes.
Dynamos assistant coach Tonderai Ndiraya said had it not been for numerous chances missed by his charges they could have scored more goals, but was happy they played according to instruction.
“We took this just like any other normal game. Of course it did exert a lot of pressure on our guys, but it was just a hype that had been created. We beat FC Platinum in the league, we have beaten them now, and we hope to beat them again when we meet in the coming league game.
“We created several chances and we could have scored many goals in the first half. We told our boys that the FC Platinum defenders are slow, we told them to put the ball on the ground and attack and they listened to that,” Ndiraya said.
And it was always bad news when Murape got possession of the ball and immediately flighted it upfront to Malajila, who stole the limelight from man-of-the-moment Rodreck Mutuma.
The Platinum midfield of Menard Mupera, Thabani Kamusoko and Charles Sibanda was impressive on knocking the ball and spreading the passes, but could not contain Murape, always quick to spot his forwards on the attack and released the ball with urgency.
In the 13th minute Murape deftly cut across in midfield and pushed the ball to Mutuma who sent in a cross which eluded Dube and found Malajila, but his effort was blocked on the line by Platinum defender Daniel Veremu.
Murape was at it again in the 25th minute and sent another long searching pass to Mutuma, but his weak shot was saved by Dube.
Murape’s continuous inroads were curtailed a minute later after he was hacked down by Khumbulani Banda, who was cautioned by a no-nonsense South African referee Victor Hlungwani.
Sibanda, who had a good game, but had to be taken out in the 62nd minute due to injury, tried a few tricks and had his shot from inside the Dynamos penalty box punched way by Arubi after he was set on course by Donald Ngoma.
The second half did not produce much of exciting play with a few brilliant flashes from Dynamos substitute Archford Gutu as he set up Malajila who could not pack a shot.
Ngoma’s aggressive solo battles towards the end of the match did not pay any dividends for the Moneybags. They have missed the chance to lift the Mbada piece of silverware and now have the league title to aim for.
Platinum coach, Rahman Gumbo did not grant journalists an interview after the match, remaining holed up in the dressing room long after the match.
Dynamos: W Arubi, D Kutyauripo (T Mamvura 78th minute), G Zhokinyi, G Bello, T Magorimbo, L Kurauzvione, D Chafa, M Murape, D Mukamba (A Gutu 51st minute), C Malajila, R Mutuma (M Vengesai 70th minute)
FC Platinum: T Dube, B Dube, K Banda, I Gwandu, D Veremu, M Mupera (N Maroto 75th minute), D Ngoma, J Ngodzo, T Kamusoko, C Sibanda (W Manondo 65th minute), B Marere (B Ncube 51st minute)