DeMbare smell glory

HARARE - Dynamos surged closer to a 19th Zimbabwean Premiership title yesterday, maintaining a two-point lead by beating Monomotapa 2-1 while rivals Highlanders won 2-0 at Hardbody.

The Glamour Boys have two games remaining to extend their title record after rattling off 10 points in their last five matches.

Second half goals from striker Simba Sithole and substitute Roderick Mutuma in reply to Tawanda Nyamandwe’s first half goal carried the day for DeMbare.

The defending champions are now on 65 points, two more than second-placed Bosso.

Modest DeMbare coach Pasuwa refused to accept the notion his team already has one hand on the championship.

“It is game on; we still have to collect maximum points until the end of the season,” said Pasuwa
“We have to keep concentrating. Most of the (DeMbare) guys were not pressing in the pressing areas.

The reason we brought Magorimbo into the defensive link position was because he is more vocal than Mamvura. I had to force Mamvura to go and play at right back and he did well there.”

Two games to go before the season finale, Calisto Pasuwa’s men are well-placed to retain the Premiership gong in their remaining two games against Buffaloes and Hardbody.

On the other hand, Highlanders, who still have to play Platinum and Blue Rangers, are banking their title chances on a stumble by the Glamour Boys in their last two games.

Yesterday’s crucial tie was a proverbial match of two halves with Monoz dominating the first half while a resurgent DeMbare called the shots in the second half.

Monoz were quicker off the blocks in the opening half as they totally dominated DeMbare but were let down by lack of a decisive final ball.

The 2008 Zimbabwe champions only got the goal that their dominance merited two minutes from the half time break through the boot of former DeMbare striker Tawanda Nyamandwe, whose brilliant hold-up play was the fulcrum of Monomotapa’s attacks.

Midfielder Hilary Mugoniwa’s cross was punched back in to the path of Nyamandwe, who obliged with a powerful shot from close range.

With Dynamos looking out of sorts in the first half, Pasuwa’s tactical prowess breathed life into DeMbare in the second stanza. Thomas Magorimbo, who started at right-back, swapped places with anchorman Timire Mamvura and it proved to be the match’s turning point.

DeMbare began to win more balls in midfield and it came as no surprise when former CAPS United hitman Sithole levelled matters 10 minutes into the second half, his third goal for the champions in seven days.

Pasuwa’s men sealed their victory through unmarked substitute Rodreck Mutuma on 75 minutes who  fired home a cross from former Monomotapa left back Ocean Mushure.

Monoz assistant coach Nkululeko Dhlamini, a former DeMbare goalkeeper, justified the puzzling substitution of Nyamandwe.
“Nyamandwe played very well but he is still coming back from injury. It was one of those bad days in office. The 13th player (the fans) played a big part.”

TEAMS


Monomotapa: Artwell Mukandi, Hillary Mugoniwa, Ronald Chitiyo, Tendai Ngulube (Brian Mapfumo 85 mins), Kuda Musharu (Osbornev Mukuradare, 59 min), Russel Madamombe, Obey Mwerahari, Jimmy Tigere, Morgen Mungombe, Tawanda Nyamandwe (Makai Kawashu, 72 min), Nelson Melson.

Dynamos: George Chigova, Gift Bello, Thomas Magorimbo, Timire Mamvura, Denver Mukamba (Tichaona Mabvura, 84 min), Tawanda Muparati, Partson Jaure, Ocean Mushure, Simba Sithole, Farai Mupasiri (Rodreck Mutuma, 51 min), Cliff Sekete (Murape Murape, 66 min).

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