Home » Sports » It’s a Tough Race – Pasuwa

DYNAMOS coach Callisto Pasuwa has predicted a tough season after most of the Castle Lager Premiership big guns got off to a disappointing start at the weekend. DeMbare, who are the defending champions, needed a late gifted goal from How Mine to become the only team from last year’s top five to win their season-opener.

Last season’s silver medallists, Highlanders, fired blanks against Premiership returnees Chapungu at Ascot while CAPS United and FC Platinum had to come from behind to salvage a point each in identical 1-1 draws against newly promoted sides.

First it was FC Platinum who needed an injury time equaliser after going down early to Moses Chunga’s new baby, Chiredzi Football Club, at Chishamiso on Saturday.

Chiredzi scored the fastest goal after 30 seconds when Munya Chiwara tapped home a cross from the lively Tapiwa Dethisitara but Thabani Kamusoko rescued the visitors when he grabbed an injury time equaliser.

Then 24 hours later, CAPS United got a big scare when they found themselves trailing to debutants ZPC Kariba early in the game but second half substitute Dominic Chungwa’s well struck effort in the 70th minute earned them a share of the spoils.

Harare City, who had a fairy-tale run last season when they were almost crowned champions before losing the plot on the last day, had a terrible start to their campaign after losing 3-0 to Chicken Inn on Saturday.

Hwange were the biggest winners with a crushing 5-1 win over visiting Buffaloes while Shabanie Mine also enjoyed a positive start when they beat Triangle 3-1 at home.

Pasuwa yesterday said it appears all clubs have prepared well this year and admitted How Mine gave the record holders a big test of character.

The three-time championship winning coach, however, was charmed by his side’s persistence which resulted in the 88th minute own goal by the hosts’ defender Brighton Dube who accidentally beat his goalkeeper in an attempt to clear the line from an attempt by Washington Pakamisa.

“I think it is going to be tough. From what I saw the league this year promises to be very competitive because all the teams were working hard during the off-season, acquiring players and beefing up their squads.

“And if all teams play the way How Mine did against us, then we might all end up there at the top, with very little to separate us.

“It was a good game but the pace was a bit too much.

“We knew it was going to be a tough match because both teams have been playing in the Caf competitions.

“We managed to keep possession in the first 30 minutes but we wasted the chances that we got. Games like these are won by taking the few chances that come your way. I think we were also losing it in the midfield where we were giving away possession unnecessarily.

“We need to be g in all departments.

“I am happy though with the resilience we showed and the fact that we managed to hold on without conceding until we found that winning goal,” said Paswua.

Dynamos’ rivals Makepekepe were at home against ZPC Kariba but they could not stamp their authority at Gwanzura on Sunday.

There were high expectations from their supporters but, much to the shock of the appreciative crowd, the Harare giants found themselves trailing to the newboys for most of the game after conceding a 10th minute goal by one of their former players Pride Tafirenyika.

However, Green Machine coach Taurayi Mangwiro did not panic as he insisted they need to go back and work on some aspects of their game.

“We want to come up with corrective measures where we fell short and I think we won’t be found wanting again,” said Mangwiro.

CAPS United face Harare City in their next game.

City were humiliated by Chicken Inn in the second of a double header fixture at Luveve on Saturday. Army side Black Rhinos had beaten their hosts Bantu Rovers 1-0 in a lunch-time kick off courtesy of Brian Muzondiwa.

Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas, who has been working quietly on his team during the pre-season, praised his charges for the win.

The Gamecocks lost key players Kuda Mahachi and Tendai Ndoro during the off-season but they don’t appear bothered.

First half goals from Canaan Nkomo, Mkhokheli Dube and a second half strike from substitute Ishmael Lawe gave them the bright start they needed.

Antipas said the win was a big morale-booster.

“I think we came up with a very good start. There is still a long way to go, though, but it’s always good to get the confidence going from the start.

“We felt that we deserved to win because we applied pressure from the beginning and we took our chances. There is still some work to do but I feel the guys did very well considering it was their first game of the season.

“We had new guys like Ben Nyahunzvi, Bheki Ncube and Ishmael Lawe. It appears they are gelling well. In terms of match fitness, we are almost there but we need to continue working on that aspect,” said Antipas.

Source : The Herald