Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau
Dynamos 0-1 Highlanders
POLICE fired teargas to disperse a section of rowdy Dynamos supporters after the Glamour Boys fell to bitter rivals Highlanders at Rufaro yesterday to wrap up a disappointing Easter weekend for the winless Harare giants.
Dynamos’ youth brigade who seem to have flattered only to deceive are yet to win a match in four Castle Lager Premiership league outings this season.
Their restless supporters caused pandemonium at the main gate to the VIP stand at Rufaro demanding explanations from the club’s leadership on the club’s poor run after a lifeless DeMbare endured another 90 minutes of misery on the pitch yesterday.
Highlanders forward Ozias Zibande’s tap-in at the stroke of half-time inflicted more pain on the DeMbare fans, who have now lost three of their opening four matches of the season.
With their team’s 1-0 defeat to Ngezi Platinum Stars in their last match before the Easter weekend still fresh in their minds, it appears the supporters’ patience with Lloyd Mutasa’s academy has begun wearing thin.
While Mutasa and his technical team have been preaching that they are not pressing the panic button yet, some Dynamos supporters are already getting disillusioned and are not sure where the team is headed to after slipping into unfamiliar second from the bottom on the log standings.
The livid fans first gathered in small pockets after the match yesterday discussing their fears and many other things that they thought have gone wrong with their club, including the decision to let wayward midfielder Denver Mukamba go, while the militant ones decided to take the team that did duty yesterday head-on.
Police had to call for reinforcements as the unruly supporters, who were holding placards and insulting the club’s leadership through disparaging lyrics, blocked the team bus from leaving Rufaro and refused to leave the exit point long after the match had ended.
It was only after the police fired teargas that the disorderly crowd gave in.
Amid the turmoil, DeMbare coach Mutasa still believes his team will eventually find their footing despite the slow take-off.
Mutasa told journalists after the match that they needed to look themselves in the mirror in their quest to turn their fortunes around after his team failed to create meaningful scoring chances again yesterday.
“Obviously you cannot win games if you don’t score and the last two games that we played we could not score goals, hence the difference. But I am sure it’s something that we should go back and look at,” said Mutasa.
“I think we have been in this mess before; that is football. It’s not only about Dynamos. This happens worldwide even with big teams like Real Madrid. You hit a bad patch but what matters is the character to bounce back and I am sure we have the capacity to do that,” said Mutasa.
Dynamos have only managed one point from a possible 12 in the drawn game against Shabanie Mine.
But in that match against Shabanie, DeMbare blew a 3-0 lead to eventually draw 3-3 after capitulating in the last 22 minutes of the game.
In yesterday’s battle of Zimbabwe encounter, they started on the back foot as the equally youthful Highlanders outfit pinned them back in an attacking first half which, however, lacked clear goal scoring opportunities at both ends.
But the Dynamos supporters thought they had found the opener in the 35th minute when Ocean Mushure swung in a free-kick that was deflected to the side net by Bosso skipper, Honest Moyo.
Bosso had the first real attempt on goal after 39 minutes when Ben Musaka, at the back post, cut back Brian Banda’s high ball from a free-kick to force a good save from goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga.
Striker, Gabriel Nyoni wasted the rebound as DeMbare defenders closed in.
But Zibande gave Madinda Ndlovu’s Highlanders “ECD” an important lead on the 45th minute when he tapped in a low cross from MacClive Phiri that made their lives easier going into the break.
Ndlovu heaped praises on his charges who collected a third win to buttress his new project to restore Highlanders’ football flair through reverting to the passionate and yet fledgling players.
“I think if you look at today’s game from a critical point of view you will agree with me that it was a game that was played with a lot of passion and anxiety…
“Because we have got ‘the ECDs’, we had a strategy to say listen to the teacher and then you give the correct answer. So basically this is the correct answer I meant to get from my boys. Credit goes to my boys. You could see that even when pressure was mounting in the second half, towards the end of the game, they held their own, they defended well and really wanted to defend that goal,” said Ndlovu.
But after chaotic scenes that characterised the end of their game, and with the Harare derby against Caps United looming large, there will be a lot of soul-searching at Dynamos this week.
Dynamos: T Mateyaunga, B Moyo, O Mushure, G Mukambi, J Tigere, J Marufu, O Mwerahari (K Dhemere, 60th min), R Manuvire, K Kumwala (Q Kangadze, 58th min), T Macheke, V Kadonzvo (T Uswahwengavi, 71st min)
Highlanders: A Sibanda, H Moyo, M Phiri, P Muduhwa, T Ndlovu, B Musaka, A Silla (N Makumbe, 52nd min), B Banda, G Makaruse, O Zibande (B Ncube, 79th min), G Nyoni (T Lunga, 71st min)