Home » Sports » Toothless, Defenceless, Spineless Champions

AFTER another humiliation at home, Dynamos chairman Kenny Mubaiwa conceded yesterday that the Glamour Boys’ chaotic defence of their Castle Lager Premiership crown was unacceptable and the rot needed to stop now or heads would roll.

The Harare businessman said his leadership and the technical team both had to take the blame for the way the champions have struggled for consistency and warned that, if things didn’t improve, a price will have to be paid.

Mubaiwa conceded that they were battling a range of internal problems that had spilled onto the pitch and were now affecting the defence of their title.

DeMbare turned on a lifeless show to crash to their second straight defeat in the league and Mubaiwa said there was need for everyone at the club to sit down and solve their challenges as a matter of urgency if they want to keep alive their dream of retaining the championship.

The Glamour Boys have now lost half of their first six league matches for only the second time in five years after they also lost three of their first half-a-dozen games in 2009 when they were beaten by Motor Action, CAPS United and Eagles.

Yesterday’s defeat came against the backdrop of a simmering discord in the Glamour Boys camp and coach Callisto Pasuwa was again on the receiving end of verbal abuse by a section of the club’s supporters who hurled insults at him at the end of the match to show their displeasure.

The club’s security chief Cephas Museba and board chairman Bernard Marriot were not spared as they were pelted with missiles during the second half by a small group of fans sitting on the “Vietnam” end of the giant stadium.

Buffaloes attacking midfielder Roy Mwenga inflicted the pain yesterday when he headed home a low cross from the corner kick to put the Mutare side ahead in the 44th minute.

Dynamos, who missed a couple of chances earlier on, never recovered from the setback.

The loss came straight on the back of another defeat by the same margin on their visit to Chapungu last Thursday.

The club’s executive chairman Mubaiwa yesterday said the defeats were worrying and said there was an urgent need for the leadership to sit down with the technical team.

Mubaiwa, however, maintained that it was still early to press the panic button as they have managed to win three of their six games and, crucially, were just three points off the pace set by the leaders.

“We need to sort out things as soon as possible if we want to win the championship again this season,” Mubaiwa told The Herald.

“The results haven’t been coming out consistently and we need to address the root cause of the problem because we believe we have a team that can compete and win the title.”

Dynamos missed a number of chances early in the first half when they enjoyed the lion’s share of ball possession as Buffaloes appeared content on defending and slowing down the tempo of the game before lifting a gear up in the second half.

It was not surprising the visitors hardly had any shot on target until the moment Mwenga capitalised on poor defending and headed in from a corner kick at the back post.

Buffaloes coach Luke Masomere, whose tactics were spot on, was happy his game plan worked out well as he managed to stretch his team’s unbeaten run to five games.

“I think we are starting to play well. We managed to beat Dynamos because of team work and I think we thrive on that and we will continue to thrive on that,” said Masomere.

Poor finishing was again Dynamos’ downfall and the injury of their new marksman Anesu Gondo towards the end of the first half spelt doom.

Not that he was the best player on the field yesterday but, with his pace and hunger for the ball, he always promised something.

The problem was that the other striker Washington Pakamisa put in another big shift, in terms of work rate, but was never a threat to the visitors’ goal and, at this level, he should know that players in his position are paid to score goals.

Gondo had a good chance to put his team ahead in the 17th minute when his pressure forced Buffaloes goalkeeper Blessing Mwandimutsira off his line and a faint touch pushed the ball past the ‘keeper.

Gondo then reacted casually and smashed his shot into the side net with the goal at his mercy and one defender frantically back-pedalling.

The other option, the easier one, would have been for him to pass to Pakamisa who was alone in the box but, given that his strike partner is yet to score this season, one can understand why Gondo trusted his instincts.

Pakamisa, who returned to the starting team yesterday, could not do the basics right when he failed to connect a cross from Partson Jaure just four minutes into the game.

Tafadzwa Rusike and Walter Mukanga, another player who had a shocker of a poor game, also came close and when Dynamos thought they had found the equaliser, through Ocean Mushure’s 63rd minute free-kick, their joy was short lived as referee Norman Matemera ruled it out as he adjudged that players, in offside position, had interfered with play.

That was a tight, if not bad call by Matemera, given that his assistant, who is the authority in offside calls, had given the goal but the referee appeared to be lured by the Buffaloes ‘keeper’s appeals.

Pasuwa said the usual problems in the final third continued to haunt them and indicated that they need to sit down as a team to map the way forward.

“It’s a game of chances. We got our chances and we didn’t utilise them and they got one chance and they buried it. That’s the name of the game,” said Pasuwa.

The coach, however, was not keen to discuss the background issues following reports in our sister paper, The Sunday Mail, of a fallout with the club’s chairman.

Mubaiwa opened his heart, though, and said he had nothing against the coach although reports suggest they haven’t talked for more than a month.

The DeMbare chairman said he was surprised when his executive called a meeting last Wednesday and the coach did not turn up.

“There were so many things we wanted to talk about and we also wanted to hear what he thinks is the best way forward. I tried to call him on his mobile phone but he didn’t pick up the call,” said Mubaiwa.

“Such behaviour cannot help the team move forward because we are in this together. If the results continue to evade the team, as is happening now, it will complicate his job and our positions as well.

“If I wronged him on anything then he should come out in the open and we talk about it. In fact,) the team will not go anywhere if the coach and I don’t agree with each other. We need each other.

“Personally, I don’t have a problem with the coach like it was reported in the press. Also it’s not like we are entirely not in speaking terms, maybe it’s him saying that to the people.

“Usually I am not directly in contact with the coaches as a matter of protocol, it’s the duty of the secretary-general.

“As a result I could go for weeks without talking directly to him but on Wednesday I had to phone him to find out why they didn’t come for the meeting,” said Mubaiwa.

Source : The Herald