Zimbabwe Soccer Champions Dynamos “Dembare” Choke


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Bantu Rovers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

TOWER OF STRENGTH . . . Bantu Rovers ageless defender Herbert Dick soars above everyone else, including Roderick Mutuma, to clear the ball at Rufaro yesterday on a day the veteran impressed with his performance
TOWER OF STRENGTH . . . Bantu Rovers ageless defender Herbert Dick soars above everyone else, including Roderick Mutuma, to clear the ball at Rufaro yesterday on a day the veteran impressed with his performance

CALLISTO Pasuwa yesterday criticised the attitude of his players after champions Dynamos dropped two big points at Rufaro yesterday and opened a window for ZPC Kariba, setting the stage for a winner-take-all showdown between the two leading clubs in Week 29.

The Glamour Boys, though, could look back at the point they picked yesterday as priceless given that it still gives them the advantage that a draw, in their penultimate match against ZPC Kariba, could still be enough to win them a fourth straight league title. CAPS United’s victory over Buffaloes at Sakubva yesterday, which gives them a slim chance of winning the title on goal difference should the leaders draw and beat ZPC Kariba with a huge margin, while DeMbare fall in their last match against How Mine, added another twist to the race.

Three years after his victory, in Week 29, effectively gave Pasuwa his first Premiership title, the Dynamos coach needs another win, in the penultimate match of the season, to secure a fourth straight league title, something that no other coach has ever done in this country. But his men will need to do far better than their lifeless show at Rufaro yesterday where they were a pale shadow of themselves and were harassed by a spirited Bantu Rovers side that were a credit to professionalism, hunting the ball in packs and refusing to be bullied by an opponent that was way below par. “I think it was the attitude, the approach to the game was wrong. You could see most of the time we were second to the ball. There was no aggression in terms of going forward,” said Pasuwa.

“We lost the plot again. We wanted to collect three points, unfortunately we got one, which is still part of the game. We are still in there. We have to fight hard against ZPC Kariba so that we can get maximum points in that game.”Dynamos were devoid of creativity going forward and had few clear-cut scoring opportunities for their strikers Washington Pakamisa and Rodreck Mutuma who had a difficult day in the office. Apart from an effort from Ronald Chitiyo in the 32nd minute, which was pushed out for corner kick by the goalkeeper and second half substitute Farai Mupasiri’s header which crashed against the woodwork in added time, the champions had a torrid afternoon upfront.

DeMbare also had appeals for a penalty turned down in injury time after Tafadzwa Rusike was brought down, as he tried to make his way into the box, but the referee awarded a free-kick just outside the penalty area. Television replays, however, showed that the foul was committed after the substitute midfielder had burst into the penalty area. Bantu had enough numbers behind the ball. Their off-side trap apparently worked well earlier on in the game with veteran former national team defender Herbert Dick commanding the rearguard well in one of his best games this season. DeMbare were found wanting in midfield with Cliff Sekete having a poor game, Ronald Chitiyo playing in fits and starts, Thomas Magorimbo failing to stamp his authority while makeshift midfielder, Simba Sithole, was harassed by the Bantu Rovers players.

There was no width, either, on the flanks with Blessing Moyo having his worst game in the colours of the Glamour Boys. Augustine Mbara scooped Obadiah Tarumbwa’s header from the line in the 52nd minute as DeMbare supporters began whistling in disapproval of their team’s lifeless display. The coach responded by introducing their captain Murape Murape to shore up the midfield and then pulling out the ineffective strikers Mutuma and Pakamisa for Rusike and Mupasiri. But it appeared the Bantu Rovers players, had garnered enough confidence by then with Nqobizitha Masuku, Bukhosi Sibanda, Goodwill Moraka, Moses Majika and veteran forward Tarumbwa all having a good show. Pasuwa refused to accept that his team was under pressure after title rivals ZPC Kariba had won their match the previous day to go top on goal difference. “I wouldn’t say so.

We are supposed to be playing our games and we should have to win on our own. We shouldn’t have to look at how other teams play. It’s very interesting we are going to meet them in our next game,” said Pasuwa.“I think this game was one of our toughest games. I don’t think that one against ZPC Kariba is going to be as tough. It’s going to be interesting, both teams are chasing after the championship and the better team will win.” Bantu Rovers associate coach Mandla Mpofu was happy with a point against the defending champions. The Bulawayo side was the second team to be relegated after Chiredzi. Mpofu, however, tipped DeMbare to go all the way and win this year’s championship.“I think Dynamos at this moment have a chance. It’s a good side but I guess they are under pressure now. Pressure is mounting, but I guess they have the experience,” said Mpofu.

“As I said before that we were not under pressure. We came here to enjoy the game. We were a little bit motivated after winning the mid-week game. We were really not under pressure and at the end of the day we are happy we gave these youngsters an opportunity to play and they did very well.”
Dynamos: T. Mukuruva, B. Moyo, T. Mabvura, T. Ndlovu, A. Mbara, T. Magorimbo, R. Chitiyo, C. Sekete (M. Murape, 56th minute), S. Sithole, R. Mutuma (T. Rusike, 65th minute), W. Pakamisa (F. Mupasiri, 78th minute)</p><p>Bantu Rovers: T. Mutanga, H. Dick, Z. Ngodzo, L. Ndlela, B. Sibanda (D. Khumalo, 90th minute), T. Hadebe, B. Sikwili, O. Tarumbwa, M. Majika (T. Kutinyu, 74th minute), N. Masuku, G. Moraka (T. Mthunzi, 85th minute)