DeMbare defence under spotlight

HARARE - After conceding four goals in the opening two matches of the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership season, all eyes are now on a leaky Dynamos defence led by captain Marshall Machazani.

The Glamour Boys started the season with a 1-0 defeat to Chicken Inn at Barbourfields Stadium a fortnight ago.

At the weekend, DeMbare were expected to kick-start their season when they met a relatively inexperienced Shabanie Mine side at Rufaro Stadium.

Everything was going according to script when the Glamour Boys raced into a three-goal lead inside the opening 66 minutes.

Valentine Kadonzvo, Kudzanai Dhemere and Quality Kangadze were all on target as the Harare giants kept the Chinda Boys on the back foot.

However, Shabanie found a way back into the game largely due to the shambolic defending exhibited by Machazani and his teammates Jimmy Tigere, Romario Matova and Blessing Moyo.

David Temwanjira scored a brace with former DeMbare forward Richard Kawondera netting the other strike as the Chinda Boys performed a Houdini act.

Machazani has been given a lot of responsibility thus far by the coaches in Ocean Mushure’s absence but the former Highlanders defender seems to freeze at crucial moments.

In the defeat to Chicken Inn, the 31-year-old defender was at fault as he made the mistake that led to the Gamecocks goal scored by Obadiah Tarumbwa.

At the weekend, Machazani was again a bit tardy at crucial moments when he was supposed to provide the much-needed leadership in this young Dynamos side.  

His centre half partner Jimmy Tigere is still yet to convince as well since arriving from Harare City at the start of the year.

In the first minutes, Tigere was guilty of losing possession in dangerous areas and in one instance; he was robbed by Temwanjira, who went on to shoot straight into Mwandimutsira’s hands with entire goal at his mercy.

Rattled by those early mistakes, the former Monomotapa defender tried to keep it simple by just hacking the ball away.

But what this did especially in the second half was retain possession to Shabanie allowing the visitors to launch relentless raids on the DeMbare goal.

On the right side of the DeMbare defence, Moyo is still struggling to regain the composure which made his a regular in the Warriors squad a couple of years ago.

The defender is still yet to regain his self confidence after he had his contract terminated by South African side Maritzburg United last year.

The clip of his wayward free kick against Chicken Inn which is circulating on Social Media has also not helped matters.

Against Shabanie, Moyo looked unsettled every time the visitors’ wingers attacked him at pace.

On the left side, Matova was also a bundle of nerves especially in those last 20 minutes Shabanie launched the spirited comeback.

The Chinda Boys winger Tinashe Mupumha caused all sorts of problems for the DeMbare defender.     

Goalkeeper Blessing Mwandimutsira did not cover himself in glory either as he looked suspect when dealing with high balls.

Two of the Shabanie goals were a result of Mwandimutsira and his defence failing to deal with a set piece and a long ball pumped into the danger zone by the Chinda Boys.

For the equaliser, the DeMbare number 1 allowed Temwanjira’s low shot to go in at his near post; a cardinal sin to commit for any goalkeeper at any level.

Even DeMbare assistant coach Biggie Zuze, who was in charge of Sunday’s game, lamented his team pathetic defending.

“We take the blame as coaches but the only simple thing we failed to do was defending,” he said.

“We had a very senior back four excluding the youngster (Matova) at left back but all of Shabanie’s goals came from the centre; it was just bad defending.

“We have to work hard to improve on that. Even the way we conceded against Chicken Inn; the guy who scored was just unmarked all alone in the box.”

The Glamour Boys need to quickly improve on their defending because tomorrow they could be in for a tough time when they travel to Baobab Stadium to face Ngezi Platinum Stars.

Madamburo are currently in second place on the log following identical 2-0 wins over Herentals and Triangle in their opening two matches.

Another meekly performance from the Glamour Boys’ rearguard will result in a hiding from the platinum miners.

Tomorrow: Chicken Inn v Mutare City (Luveve), Ngezi Platinum v Dynamos (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Herentals (Nyamhunga), Yadah FC v Black Rhinos (Rufaro), Bulawayo City v Bulawayo Chiefs (Barbourfields), Chapungu v Harare City (Ascot), CAPS United v FC Platinum (NSS)

Friday: Highlanders v Triangle (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Nichrut (Mandava)

Sunday: Herentals v Yadah FC (Rufaro), Bulawayo Chiefs v Chapungu (Luveve), Black Rhinos v CAPS United (NSS),

Monday: FC Platinum v Bulawayo City (Mandava), Mutare City v Harare City (NSS), Nichrut v Ngezi Platinum (Ascot), Dynamos v Highlanders (Rufaro), Triangle v ZPC Kariba (Gibbo), Chicken Inn v Shabanie Mine (Luveve)

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