Ntouba brace settles Harare derby

HARARE - Christian Ntouba’s brace was enough to give Dynamos the bragging rights as they underlined their title credentials with a deserved 2-0 victory over bitter rivals CAPS United in a Castle Lager Premiership match here yesterday.

It was a thrilling encounter of energy-sapping tension, mistakes and near misses endeavor but at the end of it all, Lloyd Mutasa drew first blood against his namesake Lloyd Chitembwe in this first instalment of the Harare derby.

Yesterday’s win lifted Dynamos to second place on the log table as they are now on 48 points two behind log leaders Chicken Inn while Ngezi Platinum Stars dropped to fourth place following a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium yesterday.

Crucially, for the Glamour Boys they have two matches in hand which could see them go top of the log if they pick maximum points in both matches.

The in-form Cameroonian striker lit the fuse on DeMbare’s title charge when he fired them ahead on the stroke of half time having missed several scoring opportunities and added the second on 76 minutes to take his tally to 10 goals this season.

Ntouba has been in great form and is now in strong position to fight for the Golden Boot Award.

And speaking after his brace yesterday, Ntouba said it was all down to team work.

“By its nature derby is usually a big game and scoring two goals is something special. It’s great scoring two goals in a derby match,” Ntouba said.

“I give all Glory to God. I would like to thank my coach for the confidence he has shown in me. I think it’s team work and I would not have achieved it without their input. I hope we will keep on working hard as a team going forward.”

As it was, the Glamour Boys had the greater number of players, who came determined to show they were men for the big occasions. Ntouba was an obvious example; Denver Mukamba, too. Yet this was a good day as well for Ocean Mushure, Gift Saunyama and Tichaona Chipunza.

For CAPS United, Devon Chafa was dismal.

Skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi and winger Phineas Bamusi were not much better while Tafadzwa Rusike was atrocious.

Having made such a dominant start, DeMbare went ahead on 45 minutes after Ntouba reacted quickly to a Mukamba blocked effort to send the ball to the far corner that gave CAPS goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda no chance.

Ntouba completed his brace on 76 minutes with a free header after left unmarked inside the box and connected an Ocean Mushure freekick from the left side.

But Makepekepe had their own grievances, though, with referee Nkosana Dube as he made a number of errors,  when he gave Mushure the free-kick which resulted in the second goal when Moses Muchenje appeared to have cleanly won the ball.

United after a slow start considerably improved after the break but it was not enough to unlock the DeMbare defence which was well marshaled by Lincoln Zvasiya and Godfrey Mukambi.

United’s best chance was probably Zvirekwi’s  freekick which was tipped over by the Dynamos goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga just past the hour.

CAPS United assistant coach Tostao Kwashi felt his charges did not come to party.

“We did not come to party especially in the first half. In matches of this magnitude you need to be focused from the start and it was not the case with us today,” Kwashi said.

“Dynamos were the better team from the start and we lost a match. I also felt the second goal the referee was not supposed to have awarded that free-kick because Muchenje won the ball I watched the replays but I’m not gonna  mourn about that.

“He is also a human being and he makes mistakes. We need to quickly lift our heads and look forward to our next match.”

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