Penalties record worries Mutasa

DYNAMOS coach, Lloyd Mutasa is worried at the alarming rate at which his side is conceding penalties so far this season.

BY HENRY MHARA

CP9R9603

The Harare football giants have given away spot kicks in four of the five competitive matches they have played this season, with defender Elisha Muroiwa (pictured) contributing most to the unenviable record.

Save for their pre-season Zimbabwe National Army Charities Shield semi-final against Caps United, where they lost 3-1, Mutasa’s charges have conceded penalties in four consecutive matches in all competitions.

They lost to FC Platinum in their league opener through a penalty conceded by midfielder, Gift Saunyama, and Muroiwa gave away another one in their second league game away to Triangle when the Glamour Boys blew a two-goal lead to settle for a 2-2 draw.

In the Independence Trophy semi-final on Sunday, Muroiwa was at fault again, as he felled Caps United winger Phineas Bhamusi inside the box, and luckily for him, Ronald Pfumbidzai missed the penalty and Dynamos went on to win the match 1-0 and set up the final clash against Highlanders.

And Muroiwa was at it again on Tuesday, as the Warriors defender handled inside the box to give Highlanders a late penalty, converted by Ralph Matema, to cancel out a Masimba Mambare goal.

Dynamos, however, went on to win the penalty shootout to lift the trophy, and saved Muroiwa further blushes.

Mutasa, who is attempting to build a formidable side to bring back the glory days, yesterday said they were working on avoiding penalties for future matches.

“Obviously, when we concede penalties in every game, as the coach, you somewhat get worried. I don’t want to comment whether they were genuine or not. I don’t want to talk of things that I don’t have control over,” he said.

“We are working on it and we will try as much as possible to avoid them.”

Club captain, Ocean Mushure said he was equally baffled by the regularity his team was conceding penalties.

“To be honest, I’m confused on what is happening. It’s something we have to work on. We can’t be giving away penalties in almost every game if we want to mount a serious challenge for the title,” he said.

Mutasa said the win over Highlanders was a morale booster for the team, and could prove to be a turning point to their stuttering start of the league, where they have collected just one point out of a possible six.

“It can boost the morale of the players. To beat Caps United and Highlanders, two of the big giants, will surely bring back the sense of belief into the youngsters. They now know that if they work hard and play well, they can compete with any team in the league,” he said.

Mutasa also gave an injury update on star midfielder Denver Mukamba, who missed the Tuesday final with a hamstring injury, and Saunyama, who was stretchered off the pitch in the second half against Highlanders.

“Denver couldn’t train the day before the final because of a muscle strain. We will assess him when we return to training tomorrow (today). Gift received a knock on his shin. He is telling me that he is feeling okay now, but you know with these boys, they can conceal the injury to play the next game. Peace (Makaha) also received a knock, and will also be assessed tomorrow (today).”

Dynamos travel to Hwange on Sunday for their next league encounter, looking for their first win of the season before hosting How Mine on Thursday, two matches that appears winnable.

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Matchday 4 fixtures

Friday: Black Rhinos v Bantu Rovers (National Sports Stadium)

Saturday: Bulawayo City v FC Platinum (Barbourfields), How Mine v Chapungu (Luveve), Yadah v Ngezi Platinum (National Sports Stadium).

Sunday: Triangle v Chicken Inn (Gibbo), Hwange v Dynamos (Colliery), Caps United v Tsholotsho (National Sports Stadium), Highlanders v ZPC Kariba (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Harare City (Maglas)