HomeSliderMid-season break costly: DeMbare

Mid-season break costly: DeMbare

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BY HENRY MHARA
DYNAMOS coach Tonderai Ndiraya has bemoaned the timing of the mid-season break saying it has disrupted the rhythm for his title-chasing team.

The Harare giants revitalised their league title hopes with an impressive 3-0 victory over city rivals Caps United on Sunday.

Issah Sadiki, Ralph Kawondera and defender Frank Makarati were on target in a match that Dynamos sparkled.

Prior to claiming the big Harare Derby bragging rights, DeMbare had gone on a three-match winless run.

The weekend matches concluded the first round of fixtures, and the season will now go on a two-week mid-season break with action set to resume on June 25.

“It’s normally a big challenge with the players to get them back into the mood again after going away for such a long time,” Ndiraya said.

“We will not have much time to break, we will have to quickly come back and start working again so that we don’t lose the touch and the rhythm. But at the same time it’s a much-needed rest for us to go and refresh. However, I would have preferred to keep on playing because this win could have helped us to go on a winning run. We just have to plan and make sure that we come back even better prepared.”

Dynamos’ next league match will be against Yadah.

Sunday’s victory saw them returning to second place on the log standings with 34 points, one below leaders Chicken Inn.

“I’m sure the second round of matches will be tough because everyone will be looking at the finishing line. We have put ourselves in a very good position to reach the finishing line, and that is why this result was very important for us,” Ndiraya said.

Dynamos’ impressive victory over Caps United came after Ndiraya made some changes to his line-up, with Sadiki given his first start since switching from Yadah. The winger took the opportunity with both hands and capped his fine display with his team’s opener.

But the player, who caught the eye the most was 18-year-old Junior Makunike, who was thrown into the deep end in only his second start. He was a beacon in the heart of midfield where he controlled the tempo of the match. His  range of passing was also outstanding.

“I’m excited about young Junior Makunike. He played like an experienced player. So much confidence on the ball and he controlled the midfield. He is only 18 and for him to give us a performance like that is exciting. It shows the future of the club is so bright.”

Ndiraya, often blamed for being too defensive, explained the changes he made against Caps United.

“We wanted a result at all cost. We have players that we have trusted before who were playing, but today we wanted maximum points so I thought if we open up the game a little bit and put more offensive players we could get more goals. Since those who were playing before were not scoring goals, we thought we should change and get goals, and goals we got today. We have so much quality in the team and it was evident,” he said.

The mid-season break, in contrast, has brought a welcome respite for Caps United. The Green Machine are going through one of their worst episodes in history, and the weekend thrashing was their sixth loss in a row.

They are just one defeat away from matching their worst ever run when they lost seven straight matches in 2012.

Caps currently lie on 12th position with 17 points, one above Cranborne Bullets sitting on the relegation cut-off point.

Their coach Lloyd Chitembwe said they would now have to work extra hard to come out of the mess they found themselves in.

“We just have to make sure that we dig deeper,” he said.

“This is what it is about, football is about making sure you do what is necessary at that moment. And what is necessary at this moment is to make sure we dig deeper and find solutions. It’s still within our space to make sure we do what is required of
us.”

The rot has been blamed on the club”s financial problems amid reports of players going for months without being paid.

A section of the club’s supporters on Sunday expressed dismay at the team’s current situation when they picketed after the match.

However, Chitembwe said he and the players should take responsibility for the crisis facing the club.

“It’s disappointing . . . this is a football club that lives on very high ideals and it has been a terrible phase and disappointing in every measure. As players and as coaches at the end of the day we take responsibility. Our responsibility is to make sure that we do what is expected of us and if it’s not coming we should shoulder responsibility.”

Caps United’s next match is at home against ZPC Kariba.

  • Follow Henry onTwitter @henrymhara

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