Dyamos sail past Quelaton
Dynamos....................(1)1 Quelaton....................(0)1 (Dynamos win 4-2 on penalties) - ON a day when Dynamos fans publicly showed their full support for their golden boy, Denver Mukamba, the Glamour Boys somehow failed to find the inspiration with a lacklustre performance at Rufaro yesterday.
But, being the true champions that they are, they eventually found a way to win this Mbada Diamonds first round tie against whipping boys Quelaton who showed a lot of heart in the lion’s den.
The build-up to this match was, understandably, dominated by the news that Mukamba is bravely battling asthma.
And the DeMbare fans showed that they will back their golden boy all the way, with some of the supporters unveiling a giant banner which showed that their prayers were with their midfield star.
To his credit, Mukamba scored DeMbare’s only goal in regulation time but the Glamour Boys were a pale shadow of themselves and were stretched to the limited by the Bulawayo minnows.
Cup games, by their nature, are very unpredictable and Quelaton, with nothing to lose and their fate in the Premiership all but sealed, did not have the kind of pressure that DeMbare had.
They came to Harare knowing that this provided their best opportunity to knock out a giant and, in a game where a team can stage a smash-and-grab raid and Davids have been known to slay Goliaths, it wasn’t a surprise that they battled long and hard.
Quelaton players have revealed that some of the challenges they have faced, in the league, are related to the club’s poor financial state.
The Mbada Diamonds Cup is a different competition in that it offers the players an appearance fee, the club’s transport costs are taken care of and, for the first time in an age, they even camped for this match.
So, in terms of preparations, they were in their best frame and it showed on the field.
DeMbare striker Roderick Mutuma struck the winning penalty as the champions lived to play another day in the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
They have now set up an explosive encounter against giant-killers Gunners in the next round.
DeMbare’s form, of late, has been below par and they needed a late, late goal by Ocean Mushure to beat Harare City in their last match.
Although they hammered Gunners 4-0, it’s also true that this match was goalless in the first 45 minutes and the floodgates only opened after Chunga’s men lost their first-choice ’keeper.
But big boys always find a way to respond and you have to give Dynamos credit for the way they have won their games even on the occasions they haven’t played their best football.
Quelaton came here with a lot of spirit but, sadly for them, Timothy January and Proud Zireni failed to convert the third and fourth spot kicks and they bowed out of this prestigious Cup with their heads held high.
Mukamba, who had scored the team’s goal during regulation time, missed the fourth penalty when he shot weakly at Quelaton ‘keeper Tapiwa Marime.
But it was advantage for Dynamos when Quelaton’s Zireni blasted his effort over the bar and the responsibility to take the fifth kick, and win the game, fell on The Prince.
Mutuma, who had come in for Martin Vengesayi, in the second period, calmed his nerves, shot to the right to the send a big crowd at Rufaro into delirium.
The crowd had been silenced in the 80th minute when striker Eddy Nkhulungo equalised when he converted a Wilberforce Charamba throw in, which took a bounce in front of Dynamos goalkeeper George Chigova.
The DeMbare ‘keeper continues to struggle to cut crosses and for a big man, that is certainly worrying.
Dynamos midfielder Devon Chafa, defender Mushure and midfielder Tawanda Mparati scored the first three penalty kicks for their side, which were well executed.
Quelaton Simba Manwere and Mhleli Sibanda also converted their first two spot kicks with well taken kicks.
Dynamos young defender Partson Jaure was named Mbada Diamonds Cup man-of-the-match and got US$500.
Quelaton coach Farai Sibanda said he was satisfied with the team’s performance despite the defeat.
“We couldn’t even score a goal in all the matches we played. Today, I am happy and I know where to start.
“We are still geared to fight back and can really talk about relegation when I am left with five matches.
“My players really played well but at the end of the day there has to be a winner,” said Sibanda.
Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa conceded that his charges struggled with their game.
“They thought they had on already. We had so many chances in the first half but at the end of the day they had to fight for a win.
“They (Quelaton) had one striker and three central midfielders so we were having problems in the middle of the park.
“Denver and (Tichaona) Mabvura were not tucking in when without the ball and we had two strikers in front who were second to the ball,” said Pasuwa.
The coach added that the former Mamelodi Sundowns forward Simba Sithole is yet to regain full fitness.
Quelaton, who were knocking the ball in the opening period, could have drawn first blood in the fourth minute but Nkhulungo’s shot was blocked by Guthrie Zhokinyi.
And, on the quarter-hour-mark, Mukamba made a spirited run left a marker on the flank and crossed into the box but the ball disappointingly found no takers with Farai Mupasiri slow to react.
But four minutes later, Mukamba was on target when he benefited from a mix-up by the Quelaton ‘keeper and his defenders and shot into the empty net to give the hosts an early lead.
If the DeMbare fans thought this goal would free their team to play good football, then they were wrong as the champions struggled to string passes.
Maybe the fact that the match was being televised live on SuperSport had an effect on the players, with many of them putting themselves under pressure to impress.
In the 45th minute, Mparati could have made it two but wasted a chance when he found himself with the ball in front of goal, but chose to shoot weakly into the hands of Quelaton ‘keeper Marime.
Pasuwa then made a double substitution of Mpasiri and Vengesayi who were replaced by Sithole and Mutuma early in the second half.
The move did not quickly pay off as the team continued to have a poor show.
Here and there, man-of-the-moment Mukamba made his runs but the goal remained elusive and it was Quelaton who were rewarded towards the end.
Former CAPS United forward Sithole also had his chances but the player is still low on confidence after returning from South Africa after his relationship with Sundowns was terminated.
Mushure nearly scored a sucker punch deep into time added on but his long range was blocked for a corner. With the crowd silenced by the way events had turned out, it was time for silent prayers at Rufaro as the match went into the dreaded shootout.
DeMbare lived to fight another day.
Dynamos: G. Chigova, O. Mushure, P. Jaure, G. Zhokinyi, T. Magorimbo, D. Chafa, T. Mparati, D. Mukamba, T. Mabvura, F. Mupasiri(S. Sithole 49th min), M. Vengesayi(R. Mutuma 49th min),
Quelaton: T. Marime, W. Chiramba, S. Dube, S. Zibusisiso, I. Kutsanzira (T. Mugumanya 55th min), G. Mleya, M. Sibanda, T. Moyo, P. Zireni, T. January, E. Nkhulungo (S. Manwere 85th min).