BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS . . . . . . (0) 1
DYNAMOS . . . . . . . . . . .0
DYNAMOS goalkeeper Simbarashe Chinani kept his side in the game for the better part of this encounter but made a blunder that gifted Highlanders the only goal of this match, scored by former DeMbare player Cleopas Kapupurika.
Billed as the battle of Zimbabwe, the match did not live up to its billing though, which was not really a surprise considering the current form of the teams
DeMbare went into the match in better nick, but never got into second gear and will count themselves lucky that they conceded just once.
They had Chinani to thank for most parts of the game as he made crucial saves, but the goalkeeper will be remembered for the blunder that allowed Highlanders to score.
And such is the harsh reality of football that Chinani’s name was trending on social media last night as Dynamos fans vented their anger on the goalkeeper.
He was doing well until the 71st minute when he fumbled a free-kick by Highlanders midfielder Brian Banda, and Kapupurika ghosted from the blind side to slot the ball into the net.
The goal torched celebrations inside Barbourfields Stadium, and well into the night.
Dynamos made the long trip back to Harare with their tails tucked between their legs, knowing that they have failed to win a single league match in Bulawayo this season, having lost to Chicken Inn and Bulawayo Chiefs and drawing against TelOne in their previous visits.
Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu, rumoured to be leaving the club anytime soon, was ecstatic.
“The game had so much sentimental value to the Highlanders fans. We were chasing a record in which we had not beaten Dynamos in 10 years and it was important for us to win and keep up the momentum,” Madinda said.
It was Highlanders’ third win in 12 games and took them to 14 points. The Bulawayo giants are out of the relegation zone for the first time this season, and their supporters will be hoping that the ascendency continues.
“We had an upper-hand from the outset. Dynamos were slow and we capitalised on that. They had their moments, but today it was clear why the two sides are failing to score goals. I wouldn’t have minded if it had ended 0-0. The game was evenly-balanced and it was a painful defeat for Dynamos after that blunder,” Madinda said.
Highlanders could have scored more goals, especially in the first half, but Prince Dube, Ray Lunga were frustrated by Chinani while Divine Mhindirira hit the upright.
Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya was disappointed at losing the second match of his tenure in charge of the Harare giants.
“We lost fairly. We made a big blunder which cost us. We played okay, but Highlanders dominated the game. We had done enough to walk away with a point, but conceded in a painful manner. We were chasing shadows for the better part of the game which Highlanders controlled. I am very disappointed by the result,” Ndiraya said.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, A Mbeba, M Ndlovu, T Ndlovu, P Muduhwa, N Masuku, R Lunga (T Makanda, 73′), B Banda, P Dube, D Mhindirira (A Silla, 90′), C Kapupurika
Dynamos: S Chinani, E Jalai, T Muringai, J Tigere, M Mawadza, A Maliselo, T Macheke, T Chisi (S Mupamaonde, 88′), E Sadomba, V Tadzoka (C Ngahan, 62′), J Selemani (N Katawa, 88′)