The Herald (Harare)

15 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Dembare Just a Point Away

CHAMPIONS Dynamos continued with their irresistible form when they trampled on Buffaloes at Rufaro yesterday to edge to within just a point of a record 19th Premiership title.

Dynamos can now afford the luxury of drawing against relegated Hardbody whom they face at Ascot on Sunday and still be crowned champions.

But coach Callisto Pasuwa once again refused to be carried away and stressed "it's not over until it is over".

The Dynamos coach left Rufaro a happy man after watching in-form striker Simba Sithole grabbing his first brace for DeMbare while star midfielder Denver Mukamba converted a late penalty to seal a comfortable win for the Harare giants.

After sorting out his match-fitness concerns, Sithole has taken over the mantle of providing goals for DeMbare with regularity.

With second-placed Highlanders notching an important win over FC Platinum at Barbourfields, Dynamos needed to avoid any slip-ups.

But with Sithole, brought as a direct replacement for Takesure Chinyama, back to the kind of form that convinced Mamelodi Sundowns to lure him to Super Diski, Dynamos fans will now travel to Gweru with their confidence at its peak.

Dynamos consolidated their position at the top of the log with 68 points, as Bosso remain two points shy with one match to go.

Interestingly, both teams will face relegated teams in their final assignments on Super Sunday with Bosso making the long trip to the capital to face out-of-sorts Blue Rangers, who were hammered 7-1 by Hwange at the Colliery yesterday.

With Dynamos enjoying a healthy goal difference, a draw would suffice for the Harare giants to win the league championship.

But Bosso could snatch a sensational championship title if they manage to beat Blue Rangers while Dynamos lose to Hardbody.

It is against this background that Pasuwa insisted it is not yet time to pop the champagne.

"It's not yet over until it is over. We have to concentrate more on the game that is coming so that we collect three points. The last match is very crucial because we have to get maximum points," said Pasuwa.

Dynamos showed real hunger for victory in the first half as they constantly probed the Buffaloes' defence.

Mukamba skied his effort over the bar while Ocean Mushure's brilliant low shot was parried for a corner kick by Buffaloes goalkeeper Hopeful Bere in the 11th minute.

Dynamos left back Mushure was to whip a high ball into the box that Murape Murape failed to head on target.

The Harare giants never gave up in their relentless search for a goal as Tawanda Muparati gained possession and bulldozed into the box but was thwarted by Themba Ndlovu who played his heart out in the Buffaloes defence.

Buffaloes tried to claw back into the Dynamos half with Phenias Bamusi, the gangly Prosper Matizanadzo and Roy Mwenga causing anxious moments.

There was little doubt that Dynamos were going to score, judging by the raids they had made with Sithole unlucky to crash his effort against the upright in the 31st minute following a quick move by Mukamba.

Then the goal that had always been promising duly arrived after 34 minutes when Mukamba charged ahead and then found Mutuma who later set up Sithole to hit a low shot past Bere.

It was Sithole's sixth goal and the former CAPS United forward was back to haunt the army side three minutes later.

Buffaloes' Phillip Chandisaita played a back-pass to Bere and the goalkeeper attempted to dribble past Mukamba but his clearance fell onto Sithole's path.

The former Shooting Stars forward obliged by scoring his second of the afternoon.

Dynamos appeared to sit back in the second half and allowed Buffaloes to come at them, although the Mutare side could not breach the solid DeMbare defence.

Chandisaita, who had contributed to the second goal, was again the fall guy for the third goal when he floored DeMbare skipper Muparati in the box in optional time.

Mukamba stepped to score DeMbare's first penalty in the league this season.

Pasuwa was not happy though that his charges seemed to take their feet off the pedal after racing into a 2-0 lead.

"It was because of the attitude of the guys. We are leading 2-0 and they tend to sit down.

"They did not even attack and we were letting them come to us, instead of us going to them.

"The games is played over 90 minutes. Like in the last game against CAPS United, we missed chances and scored around the 33rd or 34th minute.

"Maybe the strikers are hurrying chances instead of remaining composed in front of goal," said Pasuwa.

While Pasuwa was satisfied to collect three points, Buffaloes coach Saul Chaminuka believes his side had a decent show on their return to the Premiership.

"My players were dampened by the two goals in the first half. Those were soft goals we gave away in the first half," said Chaminuka.

It was Buffaloes' first defeat in Harare after their previous visits had ended in either draws or victories.

"This kind of game will tell you a story of lack of experience. If we had experienced players, we could have done better. We held Dynamos well up to 30-something minutes but then we conceded a goal. It was a gift goal and immediately after that goal, we gave them another gift goal.

"This is what I am saying when I talk about lack of experience," Chaminuka said.

Chaminuka was also conced that despite having some experienced players like Dananai Chinowawa, Muchineripi Waerera, Themba Ndlovu and Phenias Bamusi, they could not match the quality at DeMbare which has been the reason why the Glamour Boys are also in the Mbada Diamonds final.

Dynamos' triumph was blighted by the sombre mood in the club following the death of the Harare giants' founding father and board of directors chairman Richard Chiminya on Monday morning.

Chiminya is expected to be buried at Warren Hills today and board of directors member Bernard Marriot Lusengo yesterday said they had continued to receive messages of condolences following their leaders death.

Legendary former Dynamos captain Memory Mucherahowa, Marriot said, led a quintet of former players - Ernest Chirambadare, Peter Fanwell, Bhekhi Mlotswa, Chamu Musanhu and Nyasha Kanogoiwa - who are now in the United Kingdom in pouring tributes to Chiminya.

Dynamos team nagaer Ruichard Chihoro had also vwed to win yesterday's match for Chiminya.

Teams:

Dynamos: G. Chigova, O. Mushure, T. Mamvura, T. Magorimbo, G. Bello, P. Jaure, S. Sithole, M. Murape (F. Mupasiri 53rd min) T. Muparati, D. Mukamba, R. Mutuma (M. Vengesayi 61st min)

Buffaloes: H. Bere, D. Chinonowawa, J. Jambo (M. Mwaerera 56th min) J. Takunda 77th min) M. Majega (N. Musvipa 53rd min), P. Matizanadzo, T. Ndlovu, S. Nkata, P. Chandisaita, P. Bemusi, R. Mwenga, S. Muchabaya

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