MUKURUVA TURNS SAVIOUR

THE HERO . . . Dynamos goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva saves the decisive spot kick in the penalty shoot-out lottery and celebrates with a somersault after the Glamour Boys edged FC Platinum in a Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final at the National Sports Stadium yesterday

THE HERO . . . Dynamos goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva saves the decisive spot kick in the penalty shoot-out lottery and celebrates with a somersault after the Glamour Boys edged FC Platinum in a Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final at the National Sports Stadium yesterday

Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter—
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . 0
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
(Dynamos won 7-6 on penalties)
DYNAMOS coach Tonderai Ndiraya praised his charges for having done their homework well when the Glamour Boys edged FC Platinum in the quarter-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup at the National Sports Stadium yesterday. The Harare giants needed a penalty shoot-out to progress to the last four of the tournament after the match had failed to produce goals inside regulation time.

And Obey Mwerahari, who started at central defence yesterday, buried the decisive kick in a scintillating shoot-out which stretched beyond the normal five takes per side after the goalkeepers Tatenda Mukuruva and FC Platinum’s Petros Mhari had saved one each. Ndiraya was thrilled by the result which came against the backdrop of last week’s 3-1 humbling by the same side that left their league campaign in tatters.

But FC Platinum looked like they were going to take it up from where they left off last week as they kicked off at high pace and gave DeMbare defenders enough trouble inside the opening half. Young Warriors livewire Marshal Mudehwe, Obrey Chirwa and Brian Muzondiwa were a handful early on with two good chances coming their way.

Midfielder Winston Mhango also forced a good save from Mukuruva who had to summon his acrobatic skills to tip over the bar a dipping free-kick 10 minutes into the game. DeMbare were penalised after their defender Elisha Muroiwa had upended Muzondiwa just outside the box. The Glamour Boys, however, survived the first half onslaught and managed to soak the pressure.

Although they did most of the defending, they also had their moments but Rodreck Mutuma shot weakly at the goalkeeper barely seven minutes into the game. He soon turned the provider when he sent Takesure Chinyama through the middle, but the big striker failed to control the ball as his second touch on the run betrayed him.

Their best chance was in the 24th minute when Mudehwe cleared Mutuma’s header from a corner-kick on the line.

Ndiraya said they had a better game plan this time around and were confident of their Plan B, which was the penalty shoot-out, as they had also invested so much time in taking kicks from the spot during their preparations last week. “(I feel) quite relieved, quite relieved. It was a difficult match but I thought we did better than last time. We had so much discipline especially at the back.

“We started off on the back-foot but we picked up and our defending improved. Remember I complained about the goals we conceded against FC Platinum last time when we played them in the league? They give away goals and I thought my boys today did well. They kept it tight at the back and it saw us through the 90 minutes and here we are. I was confident if we go to the penalty shoot-out we would win the match.

“We did so many of the penalty shoot-outs during our training sessions and I was so confident we were going to get it right,” said Ndiraya. Ocean Mushure, Godknows Murwira, Chinyama, Mutuma, Masimba Mambare, Mwerahari and goalkeeper Mukuruva all converted their kicks from the spot. Diminutive midfielder Ronald Chitiyo was not as successful, on a day he was poor, as he brought FC Platinum back in contention after failing to convert the fourth kick.

Wellington Kamudyariwa had given DeMbare the advantage with FC Platinum’s second attempt after Mukuruva made a good save. Ian Nekati unfortunately handed the advantage back to DeMbare when he missed the eighth after Kelvin Moyo, Winston Mhango, Stephen Sibanda, Simon Shoko, Obrey Chirwa and Elvis Moyo kept the tie alive.

But Dynamos’ Mwerahari made no mistake with the decisive take. FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was not disappointed by the defeat as he argued that his players did their best after playing three big games inside eight days. The platinum miners were forced to make a substitution after their livewire Mudehwe limped off the pitch with 10 minutes of regulation time remaining.

Mapeza said he was still happy with his team’s performance despite ending on the losing side. “We lost on penalties and you cannot really put the blame on anybody. The guys did well building play from the back and bringing it into the midfield but I think there wasn’t much creativity in the final third. “But I am proud of the boys,” said Mapeza.

FC Platinum were the holders of the Cup when they beat Harare City in a thrilling final. Dynamos could not go past the first round last year after falling 1-0 to Black Rhinos. Ndiraya said they were now looking to go all the way and winning the tournament. But they will have to contend with Chapungu in the semi-finals. The Gweru airmen beat log leaders Chicken Inn 5-3 on penalties the previous day after their match had ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

Teams
Dynamos: T. Mukuruva, G. Murwira, O. Mushure, O. Mwerahari, E. Muroiwa, S. Alimenda, Z. Mhanda (M. Mambare, 90th min), C. Rusere, R. Chitiyo, T. Chinyama, R. Mutuma

FC Platinum: P. Mhari, I. Nekati, K. Moyo, G. Bello, W. Mhango, T. Dzumbunu, (W. Kamudyariwa, 65th min), G. Takwara, T. Mudehwe (S. Shoko, 80th min), E. Moyo, B. Muzondiwa (S. Sibanda, 88th min), O. Chirwa