Dynamos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 0
Mamelodi Sundowns . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Report by Henry Mhara
DYNAMOS’ offensive frailties were heavily exposed when they were held to a goalless draw in a friendly match by visiting South African side Mamelodi Sundowns at Gwanzura Stadium yesterday.
It was Sundowns’ third match of the tour having beaten Highlanders 2-0 in the opener last Wednesday before thrashing Caps United 4-1 last Friday.
It was also a tour where Chicken Inn goalkeeper Liberty Chirava featured in all three matches, and who knows, perhaps something is on the cards.
For Dynamos, this is the first serious step to build a team after the departure of Denver Mukamba, Rodreck Mutuma and Simba Sithole for South Africa.
The league champions play Lesotho Correctional Services in the Caf Champions League preliminary round first leg match in a fortnight’s time.
Yesterday’s match against a very strong Mamelodi Sundowns side with all the Zimbabwean contingent of Esrom Nyandoro, Nyasha Mushekwi and Method Mwanjale all starting, gave coach Kalisto Pasuwa a genuine test on his team’s level of preparedness for the African campaign.
Patson Jaure looked comfortable in dealing with the Brazilians raids, but the same cannot be said about the team’s strike force.
With main striker Farai Mupasiri injured and watching the match from the terraces, Pasuwa deployed Patrick Khumbula as a lone striker with veteran Murape Murape and new boy Boban Ziruntusa playing the supporting act, but there was no life in that combination.
Pasuwa rang some changes into the team at half time bringing in the lively Cliff Sekete for Murape and also withdrawing Ziruntusa for Tichaona Mabvura.
Khumbula was replaced by Allan Tavarwisa and the former Hwange striker showed some touches of brilliance the few times he was in possession.
Dynamos began to see more of the ball and could have, with a bit of luck, won the match. Mabvura’s fierce shot from outside the box was cleared off the line on second attempt by Chirava on 80th minute. The keeper also reacted quickly to push away Mwanjale’s deflected effort from the line moments later.
“Defensively, I am happy with the performance, but my main worry is the strike force. We didn’t put any pressure on them upfront and we need to work on that. The bad part of it is we can’t register any player for the Champions League so we will work with what we have,” said Pasuwa after the match.
Pasuwa’s only hope now lies on the coming in of Francisco Zekumbawira who is still holed up in Hwange waiting for Dynamos to transfer the loan fee.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said: “This was a good game. Dynamos were a bit stronger and showed a lot of resistance. They have a strong defence, but we should have done more in the first 20 minutes. We had good chances then. To be honest we didn’t get clear cut chances, but we are happy with the tour. It was a successful one.
They have a very good team overall, but I liked their central defender (Patson Jaure) who was marking Nyasha Mushekwi. But he is too short, you wish a good player like that should have a little bit of height, but he is intelligent. He is a good player. We think coming to Zimbabwe was very good for us to prepare for the second half of our league,” said Mosimane.
The Sundowns coach said he was also impressed with guest goalkeeper Chirava.
“He did well, we will assess him. I will have to speak to the goalkeepers’ coach and find out how they feel about him. They will give me a report on his performance and we will take it from there,” added the former South African national team coach.
Dynamos: G Chigova (A Mukandi 46), O Mushure, T Magorimbo, P Jaure, G Bello, D Chafa, M Murape (C Sekete, 46’), B Ziruntusa (T Mabvura, 62’), T Muparati, S Alimenda, P Khumbula (A Tavarwisa, 57’)
Mamelodi Sundowns: D Onyango (L Chirava, 57’), R Mphahlele, M Mwanjale, A Schut, J Shongwe, A Laffor (T Modise, 57’), E Pelembe (R Henyekane, 83’), T Langerman, T Zwane (E Manqele, 78’), E Nyandoro (H Kekana, 74’), N Mushekwi.