ALTHOUGH Monomotapa’s Mbada Diamonds Cup dream was buried in the 72nd minute when the rejuvenated Rodreck Mutuma completed his brace with that insurance goal, their death had taken place 11 minutes earlier following the substitution of star midfielder Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo.
The 20-year-old diminutive Chitiyo, who had done well to reduce the impact of roving Dynamos midfielder Tawanda Muparati in the first half was hauled off in the 61st minute as he made way for Makomborero Biserk and that was the time their dream of laying their hands on the Mbada Diamonds Cup went up in smoke.
Admittedly, Chitiyo had a subdued game by his standards but the way he policed the movements of the Dynamos skipper with his creativity and ball winning abilities helped to keep Monomotapa in the game until the second half when he was pulled off.
It appears this is where Monomotapa lost the plot as Muparati, already sitting on a yellow card and playing with caution, became a real threat with his offensive display.
Not to be outdone, Denver Mukamba also came to the party and in an exhibition of a great piece of individual skill, side stepped midfielder Tendai Ngulube and Jimmy Tigere before picking up left back Ocean Mushure whose delivery into the box was tapped into the nets by Mutuma.
The towering Mutuma then put the final nail in the coffin on 72 minutes following a beautiful exchange of passes with Simba Sithole before he slotted the ball past static goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi.
Monomotapa gaffer Biggie Zuze however, defended the substitution of Chitiyo saying he had picked up an ankle injury.
“He is our best player there is no doubt about that but we took him off after he got injured,” said Zuze.
“It had nothing to do with his performance. Of course, he was not at his best but we pulled him off because he picked an ankle injury and the doctor said he could not continue.
“That worked to Dynamos’s advantage because he had at least managed to restrict Muparati’s movements.
“I think that’s where Dynamos won the game. The other thing is that most of my players are very young and playing in a major final was a first time experience.
“But overall, I am impressed with the way they played this season and credit to the whole team,” Zuze said.
Despite failing to lay their hands on the lucrative Mbada Diamonds Cup, Monomotapa will play in the Caf Confederation Cup tournament by virtue of having finished second best as winners Dynamos will play in the glamorous African Champions League.
It was a brilliant season for Monomotapa and will be remembered for three things this season — their brand of football, being the only team to beat Highlanders this season and reaching their first ever cup final, the Mbada Diamonds Cup final.