Dynamos 0-0 Bantu Rovers
DYNAMOS coach Callisto Pasuwa has said the Harare giants will need to polish up their act in the last two games of the season if they hope to retain the championship after his side was held to a goalless draw by relegated Bantu Rovers at Rufaro on Sunday.
The Glamour Boys, who usually struggle with the smaller teams, lived up to their reputation with a languid performance which did not portray the determination of a team gunning for the championship.
Despite dropping two crucial points, DeMbare still managed to return to the top of the table after rivals in the championship race, ZPC Kariba, had taken an overnight lead on goal difference courtesy of a 3-2 win over Harare City on Saturday.
With 54 points in the bag, Dynamos are still on course and have a one point advantage over the newboys ZPC Kariba who are in second place.
The Glamour Boys now face an important assignment as they are billed to clash with the season’s surprise packages in their next match, which should be the championship decider.
Pasuwa said that Bantu Rovers were difficult customers but he also criticised his players for lacking the aggression they exhibited during the midweek when they crushed Harare City 5-3.
Dynamos were devoid of creativity going forward and had few clear-cut scoring opportunities for their strikers Washington Pakamisa and Roderick Mutuma who had a difficult day in the office.
Apart from a fine effort from Ronald Chitiyo in the 32nd minute which was pushed out for corner kick by the goalkeeper and second half substitute Farai Mupasiri’s header which crashed against the crossbar in added time, the champions had a torrid afternoon upfront.
DeMbare also had appeals for penalty turned down in injury time after Tafadzwa Rusike was brought down as he tried to make his way into the box but the referee awarded a freekick just outside the penalty area. Pasuwa however was still not happy with his charges’ performance.
“I think it was the attitude, the approach to the game was wrong. You could see most of the time we were second to the ball. There was no aggression in terms of going forward,” said Pasuwa.
“We lost the plot again. We wanted to collect three points, unfortunately we got one, which is still part of the game. We are still in there. We have to fight hard against ZPC Kariba so that we can get maximum points in that game.”Advertisement
Bantu Rovers had nothing much to play for but their reputation since they have already been relegated.
However, Methembe Ndlovu’s men fulfilled their commitment to Fair Play as they defended well and trying to catch their hosts on the counter.
Bantu always seemed to have enough numbers behind the ball. Their off-side trap apparently worked well earlier on in the game with veteran former national team defender Herbert Dick commanding his lines to his best abilities.
DeMbare though passed the ball soundly in their build-ups from the back but their midfield of Thomas Magorimbo, Cliff Sekete, Ronald Chitiyo and Simba Sithole was always found wanting.
While youthful goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva continued to enhance his reputation after getting the nod yesterday ahead of Artwell Mukandi, his Young Warriors teammate Blessing Moyo had a terrible outing and it was bad the coach had no options on the bench.
Chitiyo had DeMbare fans on the edges of their seats when he connected first time a low cross from the right but the goalkeeper Takudzwa Mutanga was alert to punch the bouncing shot out for corner kick.
Then it was DeMbare’s turn when defender Augustine Mbara scooped Obadiah Tarumbwa’s header from the line in the 52nd minute as DeMbare supporters began whistling in disapproval of their team’s lifeless displays.
The coach responded by introducing their captain Murape Murape to shore up the midfield and then pulling out the ineffective strikers Mutuma and Pakamisa for Rusike and Mupasiri.
But it appeared the Bantu Rovers players, who were noncommittal in the first half, had garnered enough confidence and were beginning to come out of their shells.
Nqobizitha Masuku, Bukhosi Sibanda, Goodwill Moraka, Moses Majika and veteran forward Tarumbwa gave the hosts a good run for their money.
Pasuwa refused to accept that his team was under pressure after title rivals ZPC Kariba had won their match the previous day to go top on goal difference.
Saturday: FC Platinum 2-0 Chicken Inn, Harare City 2-3 ZPC Kariba
Sunday: Black Rhinos 1-0 Shabanie Mine, Dynamos 0-0 Bantu Rovers, Buffaloes 1-2 Caps United, Triangle United 1-0 Hwange, Highlanders v Chiredzi, How Mine 0-0 Chapungu