Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
Dynamos ………………………. (0) 1
Dongo Sawmill …………………… 0DYNAMOS coach David Mandigora praised his team’s resilience after they maintained their unbeaten run yesterday courtesy of a well-struck goal by Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo in a hard-fought win over newboys Dongo Sawmill at Rufaro yesterday.
Chitiyo, who was the hero with a solitary strike last week when the defending champions edged Chapungu at Ascot, tilted the scales in favour of DeMbare again with a beautiful finish after the visitors had looked determined to force a share of the spoils.
DeMbare went into the match in their usual ultra-defensive mode as Mandigora started with only one striker Simba Nhivi and eight defence-minded players hoping for an easy afternoon against the newly-promoted side.
To their credit, the strategy helped them keep another clean sheet in three games but it looked like they would not get any goals as lone forward Nhivi was marooned in the opponents’ territory for most of the afternoon with no clean supply of balls upfront.
Nhivi found himself outnumbered in the early raids that DeMbare made and the introduction of two more strikers Kelvin Bulaji, Dominic Chungwa and Ghanaian attacking midfielder Erick Opoku, midway through the second half gave them the impetus they needed upfront.
But they needed a moment of magic from their midfield talisman Chitiyo, who manufactured the goal from nothing, to hand Dynamos their third set of maximum points.
Chitiyo controlled the ball well from a distance and created just a small pocket of space before unleashing a thunderbolt that flew past goalkeeper Forward Pfumojena in the 83rd minute.
Finally, Dongo’s dogged resistance was broken and the win was a big relief for Mandigora.
“I thought the guys played very well although we didn’t create many chances. But I am happy we got a positive result.
“We made a few mistakes in defence but the opponents could not capitalise on that. I am happy with getting three points. There is no small team in the league as you saw today,” said Mandigora.
Dynamos had the early chances as wingbacks Ocean Mushure and Godknows Murwira initiated most of the attacks from the flanks while Oscar Machapa and Qadr Amini sustained the pressure going forward.
Amini had a good chance in the eighth minute when he found himself unmarked at the back post but he mistimed a cross from Murwira.
Nhivi then made a bad decision in the 28th minute when he hurried his shot and blazed high and wide after breaking loose, with the option to square the ball to Amini on his left.
DeMbare supporters, at times, lost patience with their team.
The introduction of the trio of Bulaji, Chungwa and Opoku breathed some life into Dynamos going forward as Dongo were forced to do most of the defending in the closing minutes.
Mandigora defended his tactics.
“We played with one striker and two outside midfielders. That is the way we have been playing most of the time. It’s our third game of the season and we have been getting results playing with that system.
“So I think, as time goes on, we will continue looking at the best way. In football you are always improving on weaknesses and performances as time goes on.
“So far so good. I think we have started well. I have always said that there is pressure coaching Dynamos, not only Dynamos, but most of the teams. The job has its pressures but you get used to it,” said Mandigora.
Dongo had a few chances in front of goal and their forward, Martin Nyanzira, was always a thorn in the flesh as he showed good technique.
His stinging long-range shot in the 25th minute almost troubled DeMbare goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi who made a reflex save as he tipped it over the bar for a corner.
The Rusape side’s coach Shadreck Magurasave was happy with his team’s performance despite the defeat.
Dongo made a promising start to the season after forcing a 2-2 draw at FC Platinum in their opening matches but they have now lost two games in succession following a 2-1 defeat by How Mine last week.
“It was a good game but we messed it up in the second half. We failed to track the Dynamos players and they scored when one of my defenders made a silly mistake.
“I am happy with my boys, though. They played very well. As a new team that is growing we now know where we need to work on.
“We wanted to win but the better team on the day won. We are in the league to play any team. That is why we are promoted,” said Magurasave.
Their captain Evans Chikwaikwai, who is no stranger to Premiership football, said they will pick themselves up in their coming matches.
“The performance was good. Everyone played well despite the fact that about 95 percent of our players are playing in the Premiership for the first time. We are not here to make numbers. We are also fighting for the championship,” said Chikwaikwai.
Dynamos: A. Mukandi, G. Murwira, O. Mushure, S. Linyama, A. Mbara, S. Alimenda, O. Machapa (K. Bulaji, 62nd min), Q. Amini (D. Chungwa, 73rd min), W. Mukanga (E. Opoku, 78th min), R. Chitiyo, S. Nhivi
Dongo Sawmill: F. Pfumojena, K. Katandika, K. Njovo, K. Chideu, E. Chikwaikwai, D. Chitsanzara, S. Sithole, P. Madhaza, M. Nyanzira, S. Chaminuka (N. Tigere, 58th min), L. Masibera