DYNAMOS coach Lloyd Chigowe is living on borrowed time after his side produced another tepid performance in defeat to Herentals at Rufaro Stadium yesterday, a result that did not go down well with the Harare giants’ supporters who turned on him.
BY HENRY MHARA
The DeMbare faithful called for his departure at the end of the match, and it’s unlikely that the man nicknamed “Mablanyo” will survive the latest setback.
An 86th minute Juan Mutudza goal, which trickled over the line after goalkeeper Munyaradzi Dhiya had failed to deal with what looked a harmless cross into the penalty area, condemned the Harare giants to their third league defeat in a row and their fourth loss in all competitions in five games.
There were chaotic scenes at the end of the match as frustrated DeMbare supporters barricaded the main entrance and blocked their team bus from leaving. It needed the intervention of the riot police to disperse the crowd who threatened to be rowdy.
Trouble started when Chigowe decided to pull out striker Ngandu Mangala on 60th minute, a player the supporters felt posed a threat to the Herentals defence.
The decision was met with whistles and boos of disapproval from the Vietnam Stand, a bay that houses hardline Dynamos fans.
They immediately broke into the song MaBlanyo paumire pakaoma and that song usually, if not all the time, spells doom. At Dynamos, it usually signals the final whistle for the man in charge.
At the final whistle, they waved the under-fire coach away as he strutted back to the dressing room, with some supporters hurling unprintable insults in his direction.
The supporters saluted the Herentals players at the end of the match, while Mangala was showered with a few notes and coins.
Chigowe sent his assistant Murape Murape to face the media in the post-match press conference.
Murape appeared to have resigned to fate as their futures come under scrutiny, and was unsure if he and his boss will be on their jobs tomorrow.
“If there are changes that will be made, it would be welcomed because at the end of the day, what we want is for Dynamos to go forward. If coaches are going to be changed, it’s part and parcel of the job. When you get into a job, the next thing is to get fired and that is the nature of our jobs in football. The coach is a fighter and we have always been fighters, so we are not afraid because of the results that have not been going our way. We have to believe in ourselves that we can get out of this situation. We have to keep on fighting.”
He, however, called for patience from the supporters and pleaded with them to give the technical bench more time to rebuild the team.
He defended the decision to substitute Ngandu Mangala, saying the striker who scored two goals for the team in their opening win over Mushowani Stars, had a bad game.
In truth, they could have substituted the whole squad yesterday.
“Any player can be substituted in a game of football. Of course he scored two goals in our first league game, but if he is having a bad day and the coach feels it fit to substitute him, it’s normal.”
On reflection, Murape knows that his side will have to improve if they are to get out of the hole that they have put themselves in.
And it would be a pity if Mablanyo is to get fired.
He is a jolly good fella, a likeable character and those who have worked closely with him would understand his vision.
He is one man that local football and the media will miss if he is fired, but football, despite it being beautiful, is a cruel game.
Dynamos: M Diya, G Mukambi, T Muringai, J Tigere, E Jalayi, A Mawadza, P Siziba, M Chodeva (T Chanengeta, 46′) K Dhemere (T Moffat, 73′), N Mangala (N Katawa, 60′), T Macheke
Herentals: F Kuchineyi, B Majarira, C Mavhurume, J Mutudza, W Chimbetu, K Bingala (W Kapumha, 59′), I Benza, R Hachiro (T Chitukutuku, 72′), T Benza (P Chama, 57′), B Maunganidze,