BIG YAWN! Bosso, DeMbare in drab draw Dynamos forward Tinashe Makanda (right) races for the ball in a tussle with Highlanders defender Archford Faira at the National Sports Stadium yesterday. - Picture by Lee Maidza

Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau 

Dynamos 0 – 0 Highlanders

THE Battle of Zimbabwe turned out to be a big yawn after giants Dynamos and Highlanders produced subdued performances in a goalless draw at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

With little to offer in terms of entertainment, the draw was a fair result and both teams and their supporters seemed to agree to this outcome. 

Unfortunately, this instalment of the Battle of Zimbabwe, which is the biggest match on the domestic calendar, came at a time when the giants have nothing much to fight for except the bragging rights after the league title was won by FC Platinum last week. 

But with their pride to maintain, both Dynamos and Highlanders turned up at the National Sports Stadium cautious and highly tactical and there was no room for individual brilliance expected on the big stage. 

The result left Dynamos third, two points behind second-placed Chicken Inn who beat Caps United 2-1 on Saturday while Bosso have also lost their place in the top four to Ngezi Platinum Stars after Madamburo hammered Tenax 5-0 on the same day. Highlanders are fifth with 50 points and Ngezi Platinum are a place above them a point ahead. 

Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya felt the draw was deserved. 

“The two teams were a bit hesitant,” he said. 

“They were not really going at each other. We thought the excitement from the terraces would spur the players to really have a go at the game but it was a little bit flat, to be honest, but a balanced affair and in the end, I thought a draw was a fair result.

“Of course on our end we are disappointed we couldn’t get maximum points playing at home. Disappointing in terms of entertainment but I thought the competition was great,” said Ndiraya

Baltemar Brito, the Highlanders coach was happy with the point on the road. The Portuguese mentor, however, was not happy the match could not live up to the hype.

Baltemar Brito

“This is one of the games that are expected in the country. We also create our own expectations about the game. In our opinion, this is a beautiful stadium that deserves a beautiful match of football. 

“Now we can confirm that in Zimbabwe there is talent because it was a good game, a much tactical game. But I think both teams respect each other too much. 

“We also want to congratulate both teams because in the end there wasn’t a case in terms of violence or hooliganism. I think the only part that was missing was the fans that should have come out in large numbers than those here,” said Brito.

The small but vociferous crowd tried to lift the spirits of the players on the pitch but there was no magic as both teams did their best to close spaces and make play difficult. 

Highlanders player and Dynamos player tussle for the ball

Dynamos: T Mvula, E Jalai, T Muringai, P Jaure, F Makarati, T Mavhunga, K Murera (M Orfori, 73rd minute), J Makunike, K Nadolo, I Sadiki (E Paga, 82nd minute), T Makanda (E Katema, 73rd minute)

Highlanders: R Pitisi, C Ncube, A Faira, A Mbeba, P Muduhwa, D Mukuli, A Silla, L Chikuhwa, D Mhindirira, R Kutsanzira (B Sibanda, 73rd minute), S Ngala (W Navaya, 73rd minute)

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League results 

Saturday: Harare City 1-1 Whawha, Chicken Inn 2-1 Caps United, FC Platinum 1-0 Yadah, Black Rhinos 0-0 Manica Diamonds, Tenax 0-5 Ngezi Platinum Stars, ZPC Kariba 0-1 Bulawayo City

Yesterday: Bulawayo Chiefs 2-1 Herentals, Dynamos 0-0 Highlanders, Cranborne Bullets 0-0 Triangle United

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