Eddie Chikamhi in NGEZI
Dynamos………. (0) 1
Black Rhinos……… 0
DYNAMOS showed grit to progress to the semi-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup following a subdued performance in a closely-contested football match against Black Rhinos at Baobab yesterday.
Defender Frank Makarati returned from injury with a bang and scored a 57th minute header that made the difference yesterday.
The Harare giants managed to overcome the pre-match setback that saw their goalkeepers’ coach Gift “Umbro’’ Muzadzi being stretchered from the terraces following a suspected bout of fits. Muzadzi was taken to hospital and his condition was reportedly stable.
In fact, they had many things to contend with as some officials from their opponents brazenly took to the field to practice pre-match rituals yesterday.
The rituals, which included the sprinkling of some liquids and salt on goal posts and other “key” areas on the pitch, also resulted in delays by the teams going back to the changing rooms after the warm-up despite the efforts of the fourth official and the match commissioner.
At the end of the day, Dynamos maintained their unbeaten run in the tournament, after 11 games.
But their coach Tonderai Ndiraya was still not satisfied with the team’s overall performance.
“I want to be honest that we were not very smart today. We didn’t play too good. Of course, we defended well, kept our shape but I thought we were not as compact as we were supposed to be.
“Of course, I am happy we scored, we won the game and we are in the semi-finals but going forward we need to improve on our performance.
“I am happy with the result but certainly not with the performance. But in the end what is important is the result, especially in these cup games.”
Dynamos went into the match on the back of a dominant run which saw them finishing Group One with a clean record.
But Rhinos gave them a good challenge. Clear scoring chances were few and far between yesterday and Emmanuel Jalai fluffed the first real scoring opportunity when he blasted his effort over the bar after finding himself in a good position inside the box.
The usually lively winger Bill Antonio kept a low profile, facing experienced opponents like Collen Kwaramba, Farai Banda and Blessed Mbavarira.
Antonio missed a header from a cross into the Rhinos box after 14 minutes before DeMbare keeper Taimon Mvula made a point-blank save to deny Rhinos’ Tawanda Macheke from a corner by Farai Banda.
On the other end, Rhinos goalkeeper Stanley Chakwana was also called into action. He made a good save when he tipped over the bar a dipping long-range effort from Trevor Mavhunga in a goalless first half.
But there was nothing much he could do to stop Makarati’s header from a cross by man of the match, Godknows Murwira, in the 57th minute.
Makarati had returned from injury after missing action for almost a month through injury.
His goal pacified the small band of the Glamour Boys fans who travelled to Ngezi yesterday following the easing of Covid-19 protocols which made games to be played behind closed doors.
“We are happy for our supporters who came back to the stadium after almost two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic. What a way to receive them back. Victory and qualification for the semi-finals, you couldn’t ask for more,” said Ndiraya.
The Glamour Boys coach also preserved special mention for his goalkeeper, Mvula.
The former Hwange man had a good shift but he almost spoiled his day when he misjudged an awkward bounce from a long-range shot by Leeroy Murape at the stroke of half-time.
Rhinos had some good chances late on but substitute Kudzanayi Dhemere fluffed a golden chance to snatch a late equaliser as he could not connect with his head well at the back post from a dangerous cross by Davidson Marowa.
Rhinos coach Hebert “Jompano’’ Maruwa said his team played well but the goal by Makarati was the only difference.
“Overall, it was a tough match, we managed to create a couple of chances in the first-half.
“But they got one good chance from a set-piece and they scored their goal. It’s always difficult when playing a good team like Dynamos when they are on a roll,” said Maruwa.
On the prematch rituals, Maruwa laughed off the practice of the beliefs.
“These are just the mind games. Nothing much to read from that,” he said.
Dynamos: T. Mvula, E. Jalai, P. Jaure, S. Appiah (T. Muringai, 72nd min), G. Murwira , F. Makarati, T. Mavhunga, S. Nyahwa, J. Mutudza (J. Selemani, 55th min), A. Eonde (N. Sianchali, 55th min), B Antonio.
Black Rhinos: S. Chakwana, G. Madhake. F. Banda, B. Mbavarira, C. Kwaramba, G. Mleya (W. Sande, 68th min), A. Phiri, L. Murape (D. Marowa, 68th min), A. Gahadzikwa (K. Dhemere, 68th min), V. Mhandu (E. Mhungu, 76th min), T. Macheke.