RESURGENT Dynamos maintained their recent unbeaten run after a stalemate against title chasers Chicken Inn in an exhilarating Castle Lager Premiership tie at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The Glamour Boys went into the match without tasting a defeat in the last seven matches and appeared on course to overcome Chicken Inn as they had plenty of the ball for the better part of the first half.
They threatened the visitors with a series of raids and were thrust into the lead on 29 minutes by rookie striker Nigel Katawa, who headed home off a corner kick by Tinotenda Muringai.
The visitors, though, responded in equal measure and could have gone level on 34 minutes through a header by Innocent Muchaneka, who was denied by Dynamos goalkeeper Simbarashe Chinani who tipped the effort over the bar.
At the stroke of half time, the tricky Muchaneka, causing all sorts of problems for Dynamos, missed another headed opportunity off a corner kick.
In the early stages of the second half, Dynamos looked determined to wrap up the match as they continued to impress with some methodical build-ups and Simba Nhivi spurned a good opportunity on 68 minutes.
A cracking shot from a distance by Godknows Murwira was blocked by goalkeeper Pride Zendera, with the ball falling into Nhivi’s path, who blasted it wide, with the goal gaping.
The visitors, however, soaked all the pressure and began to dictate the pace and impressed with the way they moved the ball around.
Former Dynamos midfielder Brett Amidu was central to most of the raids in his former team’s box.
They were rewarded on 78 minutes when another ex-Dynamos forward Valentine Kadonzvo stuck the ball into the net from a wonderful delivery by second half substitute Sipho Ndlovu.
Kadonzvo received a hostile reception from Dynamos supporters, but after scoring the goal, he did not celebrate, in apparent respect for his old club.
The GameCocks kept piling the pressure on Dynamos in search of three points, but the hosts held on until the final whistle.
For the first time since taking over the reins, Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya said he was pleased by his charges’ performance.
“We really wanted to collect three points, but I am happy with the performance against a strong Chicken Inn, which is competing for the title. I thought they did very well, but once again, lack of experience cost us,” he said.
“We gave away what I would say a soft goal, but against Chicken Inn, we will take the point. This is a young team and considering where we were since the start of the season, they have done very well. You can see clearly, there is improvement, but we haven’t really reached where we want these boys to be. It’s still work in progress.”
His counterpart, Joey Antipas, was also pleased to get away with a point.
“It was a game of two halves. Dynamos were stronger in the first half and scored, but we came back in the second half stronger and we managed to equalise. Dynamos are on a good run and we knew before we came here it would be difficult to get three points and given the type of the game, we can’t complain,” the GameCocks mentor said.
“But I thought the goal we conceded was a result of a school boy blunder. We missed some key players due to suspension and injuries and we hope to have a better performance in the upcoming games.”
Dynamos: S Chinani, G Mukambi, T Muringai, N Katawa, A Mawadza, S Nhivi (K Dhemere, 75’), A Maliselo, E Jalayi, E Katema, N Mangala, (S Jarrisson, 63’), G Murwira
Chicken Inn: P Zendera, M Jackson, G Goddard, X Ndlovu, T Chipunza, S Munawa, I Mucheneka (S Ndlovu, 73’), V Kadonzvo, M Gaki (N Mutatiwa, 46’), P Bernard, B Amidu