DYNAMOS . . . . . . . . (0) 1
FC PLATINUM . . . . . . . .0
BY HENRY MHARA
PRESSURE has eased on Dynamos coach David Mandigora as Oscar Machapa’s goal right at the death gave the league champions their first set of maximum points in four league matches with a win over FC Platinum at Rufaro Stadium in Harare yesterday.
A draw and two defeats, including a 3-0 home defeat against Chicken in three previous games, had left Mandigora on the edge.
However, a Machapa bundled goal from a last-minute corner-kick gave Mandigora and his team some breathing space.
FC Platinum remained stuck on 10th place with 10 points after their fifth defeat of the season, while Dynamos remained in third place with 17 points, three off leaders Triangle who whacked Whahwa 6-0 and second-placed Chicken Inn.
The win came at a cost though for Dynamos with two of their players stretchered off the pitch.
Simba Nhivi lasted just 26 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute on 56th minute with a suspected knee injury, while right-back Obey Mwerahari was pulled out in the 79th minute with a groin problem.
Both players spotted heavy bandages at the end of the match.
FC Platinum had an injury worry of their own, with Donald Ngoma limping off just after the hour mark.
“It’s a great relief after what had happened in the past three matches, so it’s good to score and get a win. At least we got three points today (yesterday),” Mandigora said in his post-match comments.
“I was worried as the game approached the last minutes because I thought we created some chances, but we didn’t score, especially that Carlos Rusere free header which narrowly missed the target. I just kept urging on the boys to continue pressing and luckily, we got the goal,” Mandigora added.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza said he was not worried about the poor away record and the calls from some sections of the team’s supporters who are demanding him to step down.
He said he was ready to step aside if the club asked him to do so.
“I’m not worried at all. If results don’t come and it means I have to go, I will go. I’m not worried about anything, but I will try to soldier on,” Mapeza said.
He blamed yesterday’s defeat to lack of concentration by his players, some of them he said were “still youngsters” prone to such mistakes.
It was FC Platinum who started well against a disjointed home side who had made a number of changes to their line-up in reaction to last week’s shock 1-0 defeat away at league debutants WhaWha.
The visitors were the first to ask questions on the opposition defence when Ngoma flashed his shot wide of goal from the right on 13th minute, which was the first chance of note from the two sides.
Then Ronald Chitiyo for Dynamos headed wide just after the quarter hour in the home side’s first raid into the Pure Platinum Players’ box.
The two teams had decent chances before the break when Milton Makopa’s piledriver from range drew the best out of Platinum keeper Francis Tizayi, who put strong hands to punch the ball away.
Tatenda Mukuruva made an even better save at the other end, stretching his left hand to somehow deny Wisdom Mutasa’s goal-bound shot.
The second half, characterised by injuries, failed to match the first in terms of chances created.
The only notable chances fell to Mutasa who was allowed too much space and time to control the ball in the Dynamos box, but could not keep his shot down on target.
Nhivi also headed over before shooting straight at Tizayi following a counter attack.
Rusere was presented with a good opportunity with three minutes to go when he found himself free inside the box to meet a cross from the right, but somehow failed to hit the target.
Four minutes of injury time were raised by the match official and three of them had been played when FC Platinum conceded a corner. A few home supporters had already left the stadium probably in frustration by the time their team found their first goal in 360 minutes of playing.
With almost every blue shirt in the Platinum box, Ocean Mushure curled a beautiful cross which was bundled home by Machapa in a crowded box and groans of disapproval from the Dynamos supporters quickly turned into celebration.
Mandigora had escaped to live yet another day.
DYNAMOS: T Mukuruva, O Mushure, O Mwerahari (G Murwira,79’), S Linyama, A Mbara, M Makopa, O Machapa, R Chitiyo, C Rusere, M Mambare, Kumbula (S Nhivi, 56 (K Bulaji 82’) .
FC Platinum: F Tizayi, R Muduviwa, G Bello, K Moyo, E Moyo, W Mutasa (N Papias 77’), A Gahadzikwa (W Kamudyariwa, 82′), W Mhango, W Musona, D Ngoma (Kamusoko, 66’), O Chirwa
Yesterday: Dynamos 1-0 FC Platinum , Highlanders 1-1 Harare City, Hwange 2-0 Flame Lily, Triangle United 6-0 Whawha, Buffaloes 0-0 Caps United
Saturday: ZPC Kariba 1-1 Chicken Inn, How Mine 1-0 Tsholotsho, Chapungu 3-0 Dongo Sawmills