Home » Sports » Chinyama Rescues Dembare in Barbourfields

The nine years and no win for Highlanders against Dynamos was confirmed yesterday as the fading Bulawayo giants let slip a good chance to break the jinx against their old foes in an exciting Castle Lager Premiership soccer clash at Barbourfields. Bosso could have sealed a memorable victory at Barbourfields in the first half, but indecisiveness in the final third and a defensive lapse cost them two points.

Midfielder Mthulisi Maphosa, who was returning from injury, thrust Highlanders into the lead with a beautiful header after connecting a perfect cross from Obadiah Tarumbwa in the 27th minute.

Tarumbwa did well to beat Dynamos left-back Ocean Mushure and sent in a cut-back, which was blocked for corner.

The striker took responsibility and flighted a perfect cross, which an unmarked Maphosa easily headed home to give Bosso the lead before Dynamos equalised in the second half through “old warhorse” Takesure Chinyama.

Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu was unhappy that his charges had let Dynamos off the hook.

“I’m frustrated because this is a game that we should have won. We had a good first half and our strategy to defend worked very well, but in the second half, I don’t know what got into my right-back (Chingodza) because he didn’t stick to our formation, hence that goal. He should have gone up because we were using a 3-5-2 formation and should have trusted the three centre-backs to cover that side,” said Mafu.

“However, on a positive note, we tried playing our passing game but I feel the combination of Oba (Tarumbwa) and Knox should be ruthless and go for goal. They (Mutizwa and Tarumbwa) should leave dilly-dallying and go for goal.”

Dynamos’ coach David “Yogi” Mandigora was not pleased with his team’s misfiring in front of goal and conceded that fighting for the championship is proving difficult for his side.

“A point away from home is okay but these draws are making our championship defence difficult. We need to start scoring and we could have got some goals, especially in the second half where we became more direct. We were slow in the first half, but managed to get back into the game and now it’s back to the drawing board to work on our potency,” said Mandigora.

The home side’s opening goal silenced the Dynamos’ fans at the Mpilo End and gave Bosso supporters a glimmer of hope that Highlanders would finally break the nine-year winless curse against the giants from Harare.

Highlanders, whose last win against Dynamos was on July 30, 2006, had done well to keep DeMbare on the back foot in the first half with their seven defensive-minded players congesting the midfield where they won most duels.

Actually, Bosso played with four central defenders, Felix Chindungwe, Erick Mudzingwa, Teenage Hadebe and Douglas Sibanda, who was used as an anchorman, but was seen folding into the centre-back position once DeMbare were attacking.

The three other defensive-minded players in Highlanders’ starting 11 were right-back Webster Chingodza, left-back Bruce Kangwa and midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku.

Dynamos goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva nearly gifted Bosso the lead in the 12th minute after kicking his attempted clearance onto the back of Bosso forward Knox Mutizwa, but the goalie recovered in time to pick up the ball before it rolled into an empty net.

Mutizwa had an opportunity to get his name on the score sheet in the 24th minute after a superb interchange of passes with Tarumbwa, but his weak curler was easily punched away for a corner by Mukuruva.

There was little Mukuruva could have done to stop Maphosa’s header as the veteran striker had already picked his spot and powered his header in the near post on the 27th minute.

Even though Highlanders’ goal silenced the Dynamos fans, the defending champions, whose game plan was to bypass the midfield by targeting returning striker Chinyama, the powerfully built forward attempted some long-range efforts in the 21st and 35th minutes that could have troubled Bosso keeper Njabulo Nyoni had they been on target.

Dynamos thought that they had equalised through Chinyama in the 39th minute, but both the referee Philan Ncube and his second assistant Brighton Nyika correctly called for an infringement on Nyoni.

Even television replays showed Chinyama heading Nyoni’s hands resulting in him losing grip of the ball and trickling into the net.

The match was halted for a few moments as some unruly Dynamos fans threw missiles at Nyoni, unhappy with the decision to disallow Chinyama’s goal.

Two minutes later, Nyoni failed to deal with a Chinyama cross from the left and the ball fell to an unmarked Richard Kawondera, whose overhead kick sailed over the bar.

DeMbare finished the first half stronger than their opponents.

The defending champions returned from the breather a more determined side and even changed their formation. They started off on the offensive side, forcing Highlanders to sit back by stringing some neat passes.

Nyoni made a timely save in the 47th minute when he blocked Chinyama’s close range effort, but Highlanders’ defence failed to clear their lines and were duly punished by the overlapping Ocean Mushure who had ample time to pick Chinyama in the box and the stocky striker cleverly flicked the ball past Nyoni for DeMbare’s equaliser.

With Highlanders’ midfield slow to the ball, they were lucky to survive another attack in the 55th minute after the Bosso back-line failed to clear a cross from the left, but Dynamos midfielder Walter Mukanga blasted wide after ghosting from the blind side.

Bosso could have regained their lead in the 59th minute after Tarumbwa rode a tackle and sent a perfect delivery into the box, but Mutizwa’s flushing header went wide.

Highlanders had another chance to restore their lead in the 64th minute from a free-kick that was awarded after Dynamos captain Augustine Mbara brought down Mutizwa, but Mukuruva did well to punch Tarumbwa’s goal bound shot out for a corner.

Even though Dynamos controlled the better part of the second half, it was Highlanders who created real goalscoring opportunities, but the Bulawayo giants continued to fluff them.

In the 81st minute, King Nadolo shied away from responsibility when he shockingly decided to cross the ball inside the box instead of going for goal as he found himself virtually unmarked at the end of a delightful pass by Mutizwa.


Highlanders: Njabulo Nyoni, Webster Chingodza, Bruce Kangwa, Felix Chindungwe, Teenage Hadebe, Erick Mudzingwa, Douglas Sibanda, Nqobizitha Masuku, Mthulisi Maphosa (King Nadolo, 58th minute), Knox Mutizwa, Obidiah Tarumbwa (Obert Tafira, 88th minute)

Dynamos: Tatenda Mukuruva, Godknows Murwira, Ocean Mushure, Augustine Mbara, Sydney Linyama, Walter Mukanga, Obey Mwerahari, Richard Kawondera, Masimba Mambare, Takesure Chinyama(Thomas Kadyaridzire, 87th minute), Rodrick Mutuma (Kevin Bulaji, 76th minute)


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