BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
IT might not have been a real match to benchmark themselves, but Dynamos provided a convincing case of their credentials in the upcoming Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) season with a deserved victory over rivals Caps United in a dress rehearsal clash at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
They might not have dominated the match, nor outclassed their number one rival, but the result was important for the new players, the whole team and for football in general.
When Dynamos win, more people come to the stadium. They have that pulling power.
After all, beating a team like Caps United, the 2016 champions who reached the quarter-finals of the prestigious African Champions League eliminating giants TP Mazembe, is pedigree.
With Dynamos having gone under a major overhaul, with several new faces being roped in, including veteran forward Edward “Duduza” Sadomba, who had to come out of retirement, supporters were anxiously waiting.
At 35, many doubted Sadomba, who led the Glamour Boys to the semi-finals of the prestigious African Champions League in 2008, would add any value to the team.
His critics saw him as a mere historical figure representing the past and not the future.
Yet, the former Warriors winger, who has traversed the breath and length of Africa, playing for Dynamos in inter-club competitions and Sudanese giants Al Hilal, showed a glimpse of what to expect in the upcoming season, set to kick-off on March 30.
He threw age through the window when he pounced on a through ball early in the first half, beat an advancing goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba before bundling the ball into the nets from the acutest of angles.
It was a perfect finish from a perfect finisher.
His goal was greeted with jubilation by the Dynamos faithful.
New signing Ngandu Mangala from the Democratic Republic of Congo also stole the show with his confidence when taking on defenders and doubled the lead towards the end of the first half.
The only one of the four foreigners signed at Dynamos this season to get into the final squad for this match, the striker got a pass from deep, raced to the touchline before scoring with his left foot from yet another acute angle.
The other foreigners did not make it to the final squad as their papers are yet to be sorted.
Caps, who also paraded a number of their own new signings, who included former Highlanders forwards Gabriel Nyoni and Newman Sianchali as well as former Chapungu forward Clive Rupiya, dominated for longer periods, but were outclassed on the score board as Dynamos clinched the Charity Challenge Cup.
Dynamos coach George Chigova, who threw in several new faces, said the victory was a morale booster for his side.
“Caps are the real deal in terms of opposition and I am happy we won. However, we must not be carried away. It’s only a preparatory match, but it’s a morale booster for the players. It also serves to remind the fans that their team is back. I like the spirit, the resilience, it gives us hope, but of course there is a lot of work that needs to be done,” he said.
His counterpart Lloyd Chitembwe said he was satisfied with the team’s overall performance and believes with more practice they can be a force to reckon with.
“It’s down to lack of match fitness and resilience. It was easy to see Dynamos have played more games than us, so we were a bit slow, but by playing three or four games by March 30 we should be ready. It was a good practice match and there are a lot of positives we have seen. We were attending to some aspects which we think are more important at this stage,” he said.
Teams: Dynamos: Simba Chinani, Ali Maliselo, Tinotenda Muringai, Mawadza Mawadza, Tawanda Chisi, Godfrey Mukambi, Kudzanai Dhemere, Seleman Jaason (Munyaradzi Chipo 47’), Ngandu Mangala (Emmanuel Jalayi 76’), Edward Sadomba, Jimmy Tigere
Caps United: Prosper Chigumba, Godwin Goriati, Valentine Musarurwa, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Method Mwanjali, Blessing Sarupinda (John Zhuwawo 46’), Norman Sianchali (Clive Rupiya 66’), Dominic Mukandi, Josta Ngodzo, Gabriel Nyoni, Phineas Bhamus (Kelvin Ndebele 41’)