Grace Chingoma Harare Bureau
Dynamos 2-0 ZPC Kariba
HARARE giants Dynamos finally found a formula to beat ZPC Kariba when they sent the electricity men tumbling out of the Independence Cup semi-finals in a lively match at Rufaro yesterday. Despite winning the Premiership title last season, Dynamos failed to beat ZPC Kariba in the two meetings between the two sides and they arrived at Rufaro yesterday seeking to avenge those defeats.
It looked somewhat a tall order after Dynamos coach David Mandigora was forced to make several changes to the side that has got off to a flying start in the championship marathon this season with injury concerns raised on those players.
But goals either side of the break by defenders Blessing Moyo and Obey Mwerahari sealed the Dynamos win and ensured the Harare giants will face the same team that upstaged them in last year’s Uhuru final — FC Platinum.
The final is set for the National Sports Stadium on Saturday.
Last year, FC Platinum upstaged Dynamos in the final via national Under-23 skipper Wisdom Mutasa’s late, late winner.
Mutasa who is national Under-23 skipper returned from Cameroon with the Young Warriors on Tuesday morning and was rested in his side’s semi-final against Caps United at Mandava yesterday.
But the son of former FC Platinum and Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa will now be expected to feature against DeMbare at the National Sports Stadium in the final.
Mandigora would, however have been pleased to see the players who have so far seen little action come to the party and ensure Dynamos are on the path to adding the Uhuru Cup to their collection of silverware so far this season after bagging the Bob 91 Super Cup.
The Dynamos coach knows that it is through depth that any side can mount strong challenges for the league and cup titles and yesterday he had nine regulars missing from the team.
Goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi, talisman Ronald Chitiyo skipper Augustine Mbara, Sydney Linyama, Steven Alimenda, Simba Nhivi, Qadr Amini, Ocean Mushure and Walter Mukanga were all absent from the team that faced ZPC Kariba.
In Mbara’s absence, Mandigora handed the armband to Oscar Machapa who seemed to have also been spurred on by the responsibility by giving a good account.
While he was missing his regulars, Mandigora was able to call on two of his Young Warriors trio — Carlos Rusere and Moyo.
Moyo thrust Dynamos into the lead in the 25th minute converting his second penalty inside four days.
The reigning Premiership Rookie of the Year was also on target from the spot in Cameroon last Sunday as the Young Warriors came from behind to force a brave 1-1 draw against the Lions in an African Games (previously All-Africa Games) final qualifier.
In yesterday’s match ZPC Kariba defender, Steven Appah, a Ghanaian, was adjudged to have fouled Dominic Chungwa by referee Norman Matemera in close tussle for the ball.
The responsibility to take the penalty was put on Moyo’s shoulders and he obliged by thrusting Dynamos into the lead.
Dynamos then sealed the deal in the 85th minute when former ZPC Kariba man Mwerahari returned to haunt his ex paymasters, scoring with a perfect header off a corner to hand the Harare giants a safe passage into the final.
Earlier on Moyo could have given Dynamos the lead after combining well with striker Farai Mupasiri but the final touch let him down.
ZPC Kariba who were subdued in the first period also had their chance to draw first blood in the 17th minute but seasoned striker Tawanda Nyamandwe missed the target.
The Premiership runners-up welcomed back their reigning Coach of the Year Saul Chaminuka from national duty with the Young Warriors where he is an assistant to Callisto Pasuwa.
But not even Chaminuka’s presence on the touchline could stop the side that Mandigora is building at Dynamos from maintaining their fine run.
It was also a game in which the resurgent Raphael Manuvire who has been scoring regularly for ZPC Kariba was kept at bay.
Chaminuka felt that his charges had paid dearly for failing to take the opportunities that came their way and reckoned that Manuvire is still to reach his full potential as he is on a recovery path from a career threatening injury he suffered last season.
“We had our chances but failed to convert but Dynamos took their chances and scored two goals. That’s football.
“I think you could see that he (Manuvire) is making a comeback to the game. He hasn’t fully recovered and I’m sure he’s yet to reach his full potential. He isn’t yet fit,” said Chaminuka.
Mandigora, who on Sunday said their league match against Flame Lily, had been a tough contest admitted again that yesterday they didn’t get it on a silver platter.
“ZPC Kariba are a good side and they’ve got players who are very comfortable on the ball.
“We’re happy we got the goals. ZPC were unlucky because they created some chances but couldn’t score.
“My players who featured today are registered and they’re our players and I think it now shows that we have depth in our team.
“It’s good because we now have more competition on who wants to get into the team,” said Mandigora.
ZPC Kariba featured reigning Soccer Star of the Year Dennis Dauda and the former Dynamos trio of Russell Madamombe, Thomas Magorimbo and Nyamandwe but their knowledge of DeMbare could do little to assist the visitors who will now face Caps United in a third place play-off in Bulawayo.
Dynamos: T. Mateyaunga, C. Rusere, E. Muroiwa, O. Mwerahari, M. Makopa, G. Murwira, B. Moyo (N. Gandari 54th minute) F. Mupasiri (M. Mambare 60th minute), O. Machapa, K. Bulaji, D. Chungwa (T. Kadyaridzire 88th minute).
ZPC Kariba: L. Chirava, S. Sheshe, D. Phiri, D. Dauda, S. Appah, T. Magorimbo, C. Mukanhairi, T. Rantokoane (S. Makawa 58th minute), T. Nyamandwe, R. Manuvire, Russell Madamombe (T. Muchaya 58th minute).