BY HENRY MHARA
HARARE CITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
DYNAMOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)2
DYNAMOS took a big step towards ending an eight-year league title drought as two second half goals secured them a hard-fought derby victory over Harare City yesterday.
Looking for a fourth straight victory, the Tonderai Ndiraya-coached side produced a dominant second half performance on a chilly afternoon at the National Sports Stadium, with goals from defender Sylvester Appiah and substitute Brendon Mpofu deserving of their fine display.
The run of four wins propelled the Harare giants back to second position on the log standings with 19 points, three behind leaders Chicken Inn after nine rounds of matches.
Ndiraya had no complaints on the scoreline. “It was a game of two halves. First half I didn’t like the way we performed, it was a flat display from the team,” Ndiraya said. “We were not really ourselves, we were slow to everything. We looked disinterested and we had a strong chat at halftime. It was a bad performance in the first half from my players. But we came back in the second half and looked like the Dynamos that we all want. We had a lot of urgency, we were pushing, and a little bit quicker to things and that was the message at halftime.
“The first goal helped to settle the nerves, and it was a matter of time before we got the second goal so that’s the kind of staff that we want to see from the team. I must be honest that we didn’t have it easy. Tactically, Harare City were also good and that made life difficult for us especially in the first half. It was a difficult match from the physical and tactical point of view. In the end what is important is to win,” added Ndiraya who admitted they went into the match under pressure after their main title rivals won their matches on Saturday.
For Taurai Mangwiro, the topsy-turvy performance by his City side continues. “It’s a very painful loss after I have dominated Dynamos for a very long period as a coach. Today I find myself on the losing end which makes it quite more painful. Dynamos outwitted us in the second half. They made more effective substitutions than ours and that was the difference.
“But I don’t want to despair. The team is creating opportunities and it means we are not far off the mark. But I must say today that is what we lacked, creativity in midfield though we had some fair share of possession, it wasn’t as threatening.”
Dynamos started brightly and created the first real chance in the fifth minute when man of the moment Bill Antonio beat two markers for pace and whipped in a good cross to pick Ralph Kawondera who was caught in two minds, of whether to find a teammate or shoot. In the end, he didn’t do both with his weak effort rolling into the grateful hands of City goalkeeper Kelvin Shangiwa.
The jet-legged winger Bill Antonio was involved again moments later when he found the big Nigerian striker Orotomal, who chested a high ball down and shot to draw a good tipping save from Shangiwa.
Upon realising that all the dangerous Dynamos attacks were coming from Antonio’s right wing, Mangwiro quickly sealed off the channel. And with the former Prince Edward School student neutralized, the Harare giants struggled to create any more meaningful chances in the first stanza, save for a cross from Shadreck Nyahwa on the left that went begging in front of goal.
Harare City did not have a single shot, on or off target, in the first half, but improved in the second half. Clive Rupiya drew a stunning one handed save from Mvula two minutes from the restart.
City had started the second half better, and it jolted Ndiraya to make some changes, pulling out the ineffective Kawondera and Orotomal early in the second stanza for Mpofu and Evans Katema, respectively
Nyahwa was pushed further forward to a number 10 role and he immediately made an impact. He was sent through on goal, but an alert Shangiwa came off his line to clear the danger.
On 51st minute, Ndiraya’s men were denied what appeared to be a clear penalty when a defender handled inside the box, but the referee gave a free-kick just outside the box instead. From the resultant free-kick, Godknows Murwira picked Appiah’s head who hit the underside of the cross bar with the ball bouncing over the line and bounced back into play. Frank Makarati, who passed a late fitness test to feature, bundled the ball back into
the back of nets before wheeling away in celebration, causing a brief confusion on who had scored the goal.
After Antonio’s shot from the halfway line narrowly missed the target, Dynamos soon doubled their advantage on 65th minute. The hardworking Nyahwa broke loose on the right and cut back the ball for Mpofu whose grounder arrowed into the left bottom corner. It was game over.
City pushed men forward as they looked for a way back into the match but that fourth successive win never looked in doubt for Dynamos, with the final whistle greeted with huge celebrations among a sizeable crowd in attendance, as the Glamour Boys eye a return to the league title podium for the first time since 2014.
Harare City: K Shangiwa, H Chapusha, D Dzvinyai, I Zambezi, W Muvirimi, C Mujuru, S Masunda (T January, 68’), C Rupiya (J Chipangura, 68’), E Ziocha, E Zinyama (T Mukono, 75’), E Mandiranga (T Tumba, 61’).
Dynamos: T Mvula, S Appiah, F Makarati, T Muringai, S Nyahwa, T Mavhunga, G Murwira (E Jalai, 87’), R Kawondera (B Mpofu, 49’), E Paga (J Makunike, 80’), B Antonio, A Orotomal (E Katema, 49’)
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