DYNAMOS (2) . . . . . . . 2
CAPS UNITED . . . . .(0) 1
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA/FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS . . .(1) 1
HOW MINE . . . . . . . . . 0
DYNAMOS overcame bitter rivals Caps United in the ZNA Charity Shield at Rufaro Stadium yesterday to advance to the final.
The Zimbabwe champions will now face traditional rivals Highlanders who saw off How Mine 1-0 in another semi-final clash at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Caps United fielded a largely experimental side with Dynamos unleashing a strong side with a mixture of youth and experience.
In the end, experience triumphed over youth.
Dynamos started brightly and had moments of beautiful movements and passing in the first half in which Caps United looked jittery, lacking confidence on the ball. Caps United got punished five minutes into the match with powerful striker Patrick Khumbula, who had earlier wasted a headed opportunity unleashing a rasping drive that beat goalkeeper Itai Chiwara after he was set up by Qadr Amini.
That goal deflated Caps United’s hopes as their opponents dominated for long periods. Ishmael Thindwa had a good opportunity moments later, but shot meekly at the keeper following a pass from Kudzai Nyamupfukudza.
However, Dynamos doubled their lead on 15 minutes with Ghanaian midfielder Erick Opoku showing great skill – turning his marker before firing a stunning left footer leaving Chiwara rooted to the spot.
Caps United refused to be cowed into submission as they regained confidence and threatened with some fine raids. Their persistence paid dividends on 31 minutes with former Highlanders midfielder Hillary Madzivanyika toe-poking the ball home in a goal-mouth scramble following a corner kick by Tinotenda Muskwe.
The goal lifted their spirits and never respected their more illustrious opponents launching wave after wave of attack. But they were fortunate not to concede a third goal at the stroke of full time with Carlos Rusere coming close only for his effort to smash against the upright.
Caps United had a chance to level matters in the second half, but Kudzai Nyamupfukudza missed with a wild effort after 49 minutes, but goalmouth action scarce until the end of the match.
Dynamos coach David Mandigora said the victory was a psychological boost to his players ahead of the start of the league games this Friday.
“It’s a very important victory to us psychologically. It gives confidence to the players. It was a good performance and I think we are ready to start the season,” said Mandigora.
His counterpart, Mark Harrison, however, said to them the match was more of an exhibition game to assess some of their players.
“To us this was more of an exhibition match to expose some of our players to a hostile environment. We had a list of injured players Moses Muchenje, Gerald Phiri and others so we had an opportunity to assess the youngsters. “It was not really serious match but we will be more serious at the weekend when we start the league games,” said Harrison.
At Barbourfields, Young Warriors star Thomas Chideu scored as early as the eighth minute for Highlanders to book a place in the final.
Highlanders put up a class act in the first 20 minutes playing a
flowing game with good combinations coming from former Bantu Rovers players Obadiah Tarumbwa and Nqobizitha Masuku.
Bosso’s goal was a counter-attack with Chideu picking up a loose ball in the centre and spotting Tarumbwa on the right.
Tarumbwa flighted a cross that fell on Bruce Kangwa, who tried to pack a shot from inside the penalty box but his weak shot was finished off by an alert Chideu to beat How Mine goalkeeper Donovan Bernard.
Highlanders could have got the second in the 32nd minute but Erick Mudzingwa’s header hit the cross-bar with Bernard a beaten man.
How Mine substitute Kudakwashe Musharu could have leveled the score line in the 72nd minute but hit the side-netting after a defensive mix-up involving Bosso left back Honest Moyo and central defender Douglas Sibanda.
Musharu, who came in for Mgcini Sibanda in the 65th minute changed the complexion of the game with another pair of fresh legs of attacking Wonder Sithole, who came replaced an ineffective Charles Sibanda in the 66th minute.
Dynamos: T Mateyaunga, B Moyo, Q Amini, N Gandari, E Muroiwa, W Mukanga, E Opoku (K Chimbadzwa 59th, C Rusere (C Sekete 56th), M Makopa, P Khumbula, (F Mupasiri 88th), O Machapa
Caps United: I Chiwara, V Musarurwa (B Nyamuzihwa 76th), T Chiworeso, C Mutero, G Nyirenda, L Ahoka, H Madzivanyika, C Machisi, T Muskwe (Z Biserk 61st), K Nyamupfukudza, I Thindwa