Antonio foots the Bill

Dynamos striker Evans Katema dribbles past Manica Diamond defender Eriya Mafirenyika at the National Sports Stadium in Harare yesterday



DYNAMOS provided a convincing case for their championship credentials after passing a tough test against giant killers Manica Diamonds to reclaim top place in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer tie at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

Bill Antonio, plucked from obscurity in high school and unleashed by Tonderai Ndiraya, was once again the architect of the goal.

The evergreen Bill Antonio whipped a cross from the right into the danger zone and Ghanaian Emmanuel Paga pounced, leaving Manica defence guilty of ball watching.

There have always been questions about DeMbare’s capacity to sustain a title challenge after having failed to convince against competitors after losing to Chicken Inn at home and stuttering to 0-0 draws against Ngezi Platinum and FC Platinum.

And expectations were that they would stumble again against plucky Manica Diamonds, who have already fired warning shots by hammering Harare giants Caps United 6-2, drawing 3-3 with Chicken Inn and 0-0 against FC Platinum.

However, the Glamour Boys were resolute against the visitors who played with the determination of bees and the spirit of ants to emerge victorious and bounce back on the top table as the league marathon reaches the half way stage. The victory ended Manica Diamonds’ seven-match unbeaten run.

Ndiraya heaved a sigh of relief after the final whistle.

“We were playing a very good team- Manica Diamonds. They were very clear about what they wanted to achieve in the first half if you look at how they set up the team, they played a one versus one and when you do that it means you are so confident of the quality you have,” he said.

“But when you play one versus one it becomes easy for the opponent to find some gaps and we did get our goal from those gaps. In the second half, it was clear they wanted a goal and they pushed more bodies forward and overloaded the central midfield but our defence, Frank (Mukarati) and Appiah (Sylvester) easily dealt with those balls. The defensive part of the game has been our strength. We gave a good defensive shift today. It’s a good result against Manica which has taken us to the top.”

This was a second consecutive clean sheet for Dynamos.

His counterpart Johannes Nhumwe, however, was not impressed by the time-wasting antics of his rivals.

“We started well but then conceded a goal because of sloppy defending. If you concede a goal so early then the opponents will regroup. But It was surprising they (Dynamos players) would fall after every challenge. There were so many stoppages but it was surprising only four minutes was added on.  If the game is 90 minutes it should be played 90 minutes not 86 minutes,” he fumed.

Dynamos: T Mvula, S Appiah, B Mpofu (R Kawondera 90), F Mukarati, P Jaure, K Murera, E Katema (A Eonde 77), G Murwira (T Mavhunga 77), S Nyahwa, E Paga (E Jalai 70),

Manica Diamonds: A Reyners, B Chikwaya, L Chakoroma, E Mafiranyika, T Ndlovu, L  Masibera,  C Munzabwa, E Chingondi (L Kutongomara 77), F Mugunwa (P Manhanga 70), N Chituli, C Dhuwa (T Mabvura 49)

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