BY HENRY MHARA
The Harare giants have five outright strikers within their ranks in Albert Eonde, Alex Orotomal, Tinashe Makanda, Evans Katema and young Luke Musikiri. But the quintet has contributed ZERO goals to the thirteen that the team has scored in their opening eleven matches of the season.
Attacking midfielder Emmanuel Paga leads the club’s scoring chat with four goals while young Bill Antonio, has contributed three.
The other scorers are midfielder Shadreck Nyahwa who has two goals, Ralph Kawondera, Brendon Mpofu, Martin Ofori and Brendon Mpofu have scored one goal each.
Ndiraya admitted to growing concern about the misfiring his strikers as he continues to search for a solution to a problem.
Ahead of the team’s clash against Manica Diamonds at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday, NewsDaySport asked Ndiraya if he is happy with how his strikers have contributed to the team’s cause this far.
“It’s not good enough,” Ndiraya said. “But we are not a team that rely on strikers only. We are a team which can score from all angles. But as a coach you want them to score because strikers are employed to score. If they then don’t score, you are a bit worried as a coach.”
“We didn’t score in the last two matches and as a coach you start to get worried but I know the goals will come again and hopefully they come back when we play Manica Diamonds. This is a team effort and we don’t expect the strikers to score alone… we expect every member of the team to get on the score sheet. What is important for us at the end of the day are three points so whoever scores for the team doesn’t really matter. Against Harare City we had a difficult match and it’s the defenders that ended getting us goals. We are comfortable with that, as what is important in the end is for the team to score and get maximum points which are important for the team.”
Dynamos failed to score in their last two outings, a goalless draw away to Ngezi Platinum Stars in the leaggue which was followed by a one-nil defeat to Highlanders in the Independence Trophy on Monday.
Consequently, Ndiraya is set to make some changes upfront tomorrow.
“Naturally you want to give the other strikers a run and look for that scoring formula so that is what we are looking at doing and hopefully those that are coming in can get us goals.”
While Ndiraya’s strikers are struggling for form, their opponent tomorrow possess a free scoring sniper called Nyasha Chintuli who is the league’s joint top scorer after netting nine goals this term.
The Dynamos gaffer is wary of the threat posed by the former Triangle and Ngezi Platinum Stars marksman.
“They are a good team with a lot of experienced players within their ranks, and they have a league top goal scorer amongst themselves so its a team that must not be taken lightly. It’s not going to be easy because Manica Diamonds are a high scoring team so it’s going to be a tough test for our defense. I know if we can keep a clean sheet then chances of us winning the game are very high so we expect a very good defensive shift. But of course we expect that defensive solidity to be complemented by a mobile midfield and a sharp strike force.”
Manica Diamonds are the most prolific team in the league with 21 goals, but a run of four draws in their last four games have seen them surrendering the top position on the log standings.
The Mutare side are on third position with 20 points, three behind log leaders Dynamos and second positioned Chicken Inn who have the same number of points as the table toppers.
Chintuli will be desperate to score and reach double figures this weekend and condemn Dynamos to their first league defeat in seven matches.
“This is our time to turn the corner and start collect maximum points,” Chintuli told the media this week. “We believe we are up for the task. We are not reading too much into the Dynamos status, both as a big team as well as them being on top of the log table. All we know is that we are in the same league, therefore we just have to compete at that level.”
Premier Soccer league matchday 12 fixtures
Today: Tenax v Yadah (Sakubva), Harare City v Black Rhinos (National Sports Stadium), FC Platinum v Highlanders (Mandava), Chicken Inn v Bulawayo City (Luveve), ZPC Kariba v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Nyamhunga)
Tomorrow: Cranborne Bullets v Herentals (Sakubva), Dynamos v Manica Diamonds (National Sports Stadium), Bulawayo Chiefs v Whawha (Luveve), Triangle v Caps United (Gibbo)