Dynamos 1-0 Shabanie Mine
DYNAMOS laid down the championship marker with a sublime goal from Ronald Chitiyo five minutes from time on Sunday as they subdued Shabanie Mine to remain top of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League with six games to go.
Chitiyo let fly a screamer in the 85th minute to take their lead at the top to 46 points, but the gap remained at two after ZPC Kariba stunned a hapless Highlanders 3-1 at Hartsfield in Bulawayo to go second with 44 points.
Caps are third with 42 and Bosso are fourth on 39, and could drop to fifth if Hwange beat Bantu Rovers on Monday.
Pasuwa paid tribute to Chitiyo: “He is one player who can get a goal from nothing and his presence gave us three points. I am happy with that. “They (Shabanie) came here to defend.”
As early as the second minute, Rodreck Mutuma misplaced a shot after Shabanie Mine goalkeeper Victor Twaliki was deceived by a bounce from an Oscar Machapa free kick.
In the 24th minute, a delivery from Carlos Mesi from the right seemed routine for goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi to pick up but an attempt at flamboyance saw him drop the ball to Wellington Kamudyariwa whose chip, unfortunately, crashed against the cross bar.
In the meantime, Mukandi lay on the floor, motionless after he landed awkwardly from that Shabanie raid and needed five minutes of medical attention.
The stopper hobbled throughout the match and coach Calisto Pasuwa clearly gambled by keeping him on as second choice Tatenda Mukuruva had travelled with the Young Warriors to Botswana and he could not risk untested third choice Devon Mhoya.
Shabanie were purposeful in the build-ups, but lacked the cutting edge inside the Dynamos box while, at the other end, Machapa and Tafadzwa Rusike often found themselves with acres of space, but veteran former Orlando Pirates defender Zvenyika Makonese stood tall.
Two minutes after the restart, Thomas Magorimbo’s 40-metre looping drive was palmed over by Twaliki.
67-Ronald Chitiyo drove through the Shabanie midfield and, when clear on goal, let go off a scorcher that Twaliki parried for a corner.
Russel Madamombe replaced Mutuma with 20 minutes to play as Pasuwa looked to add some bite into his attack, blunted by Washington Pakamisa’s off-day.Advertisement
But with five minutes to go, there was no denying Chitiyo this time.
Picking up the ball from well outside the box, the former Monomotapa man swivelled around his man once, charged and looked up before releasing a ball written goal all over it that settled far from the diving Twaliki.
Sunday: Dynamos 1-0 Shabanie Mine (Rufaro SS), Triangle 1-1 Harare City (Gibbo), Highlanders 1-3 ZPC Kariba (Hartsfield)
Saturday: How Mine 1-1 Chicken Inn (Hartsfield), FC Platinum 2-1 Buffaloes (Mandava), Chapungu v Chiredzi (Abandoned), Black Rhinos 1-1 Caps United (Rimuka SS)