BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Yadah FC…….. (0)1
AGELESS striker Ralph Matema was the hero after he rose from the bench to net the solitary strike with his first touch of the ball as Yadah FC claimed their first-ever league win over DeMbare at the National Sports Stadium.
The 40-year-old striker came on for Vincent Sango in the 82nd minute and needed barely 30 seconds to settle a rather dull affair with a well-taken goal.
Banolila, as Matema is affectionately known by the fans, got to the end of a looping headed pass by Kudakwashe Mangani, controlled the ball with his head and poked it home before it could even touch the ground.
It was the Miracle Boys’ first win over Dynamos since they were promoted into the topflight league back in 2017.
In the seven previous encounters, the Glamour Boys won four and drew three times
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Dynamos were hoping to build on their derby win over CAPS United before the season break three weeks ago and pile the pressure on the top teams.
But Yadah, who had failed to win a football match in their last three outings losing two and drawing one, had other ideas, emerging deserving winners over their fancied opponents.
Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya could not hide his disappointment after the shock defeat.
“I am so disappointed by the way that we conceded the goal today.
“The freekick I think was 40, 50 metres away from our goal, three touches and the ball is in the back of the net. It’s unlike us,” he said after the game.
“It’s unlike our defenders, I am so disappointed by that lack of concentration at this level of the game you can’t concede in such a manner.
“But apart from that, I thought Yadah wanted it more to be honest.
“From the onset we were not really ourselves. We didn’t push the way we were supposed to push. The will was not there and we were casual in everything,” he added.
The first half was a big yawn with very little goalmouth action as both teams struggled to create opportunities.
Yadah FC fullbacks Tanaka Gahadzikwa and Lennox Mucheto were impressive, keeping Dynamos’ nimble-footed winger Bill Antonio and Issa Sadiki quiet.
However, the Miracle Boys looked dangerous each time they surged forward, looking to draw first blood.
The Glamour Boys came from the breather a transformed side and dominated the early exchanges.
However, it was goalkeeper Amon Mvula and defender Brendon Mpofu who were called upon to rescue Dynamos in quick succession following Yadah FC’s counter-attacks just after the hour mark.
Mangani found himself face to face with Mvula and the latter thwarted the forward but the ball bounced graciously onto Albert Manenji whose effort from close range was cleared off the line by Mpofu.
Matema’s moment came eight minutes before full-time having come on for Sango and broke the DeMbare fans’ hearts as he has done one too many times in the past.
Yadah coach Genesis Mangombe was full of praise for Matema.
“It’s always nice as a coach to win some of these games, playing a big team and ending up winning is a positive for us,” he said.
“I am happy with Matema and that is the maturity I was always crying for. As a senior player, you need to lead by example as he did. The youngster will learn a lot from him.”
Yadah FC: G Munhupedzi, B Kadamanja, L Mucheto, T Gahadzikwa, T Shandirwa (K Mhembere 89′) C Mandivei, V Sango ( R Matema81′), K Mangami ( N Mhlanga 89′), M Ferenando, A Freddy ( G Mangani 73′), A Manenji (P Kafelapanjila 73′)
Dynamos FC: T Mvula, A Appiah, F Makarati, B Mpofu, G MurwiraR Kawondera, T Mavhunga, J Makunike ( A Eonde 77′), I Sadiki (K Nadolo 62′), B Antonio, E Katema (A Orotomal 62′)