By Grace Chingoma
Champions CAPS United felt hard done by referee Nkosana Nduna after crashing to defeat in the Harare Derby at the National Sports Stadium yesterday on a day DeMbare’s free-scoring forward — Christian Epoupa Ntouba — rocketed to the top of the scoring charts.
The Cameroonian was the hero of the day with his double strike in his first Harare Derby.
Makepekepe’s assistant coach Fungai Tostao Kwashi felt Nduna played a part in deciding the match, especially his controversial decision to award DeMbare a free-kick from which they virtually ended the match as a contest.
Television replays showed that substitute Moses Muchenje had won the ball legally with a very good challenge on Ocean Mushure.
The Dynamos captain dusted himself up and swung in a wicked ball from the dead ball which Ntouba headed home.
“The second goal they got, I thought it wasn’t supposed to be given because Moses Muchenje actually won that ball, I saw the video, that goal from the free kick, but in football you get calls like that and sometimes the referee makes a good call, sometimes he makes a bad call,’’ said Kwashi.
“You can’t give excuses over that, you can’t complain, he is a human being, it’s football life, but what he does cost matches and we lose points over it, but I am not going to sit here and moan about this, all I can do is look forward to the next encounter which is Bulawayo City on Wednesday.’’
He believes their loss of attacking players affected the team’s shape and flair.
“We came to the party late in the second half. Games of this magnitude, you have to be positive from the word go. First half, Dynamos were the better team,’’ said Kwashi.
“Second half, it was more of chasing the game, and when playing the chasing game and you are one-nil down, it’s tricky because if you don’t get your chances to make it 1-1, unfortunately, you keep pressing and you are also vulnerable at the back because you would have put more men upfront because you are looking for that goal.’’
Ntouba powered to the summit of the goal scoring charts as the Glamour Boys also eased into the second spot by beating their biggest city rivals.
DeMbare have 48 points and are now just three behind pacesetters Chicken Inn.
This was the Gamour Boys’ sixth straight victory, which also saw them climbing into second position by overtaking Tonderai Ndiraya’s Ngezi Platinum, who faltered at Maglas, losing 1-0 to Shabanie Mine.
Ntouba got his first goal just before the end of the first half and scored the second in the 76th minute.
And the Cameroonian forward was excited to score two goals in his first Harare Derby.
“It feels alright to get two goals in a special match against CAPS United, but it is about Dynamos today not Christian,’’ he said.
“It is very good that I have now scored 11 goals, but this only means I have to work even harder for the team.
“I want to win the league with Dynamos and then if I am to move away from the club I would be very happy.
“It is better Dynamos finish number one and I finish number five or six on the scorers list. I have no pressure with the Golden Boot, I just want my team to finish number one.’’
DeMbare came into this match a confident lot and the sight of Denver Mukamba showboating early showed they were not fazed by the occasion.
There were chances for Ntouba and Gift Saunyama before the Cameroonian broke the deadlock.
Some CAPS United fans, unhappy with the way the referee was handling the match, threw missiles onto the pitch.
The champions came back into the game in the final stages of the first half, but they lacked the cutting edge upfront.
They had what looked like a genuine penalty appeal in the 57th minute turned down by the referee after their forward John Zhuwawu appeared to be fouled by Lincoln Zvasiya.
DeMbare, too, had a penalty appeal waved away by the referee towards the end of the tie.
Dynamos coach Llyod Mutasa hailed his chief striker, whom he described as an exceptional player.
However, Mutasa, who was dressed for the occasion in a designer suit supplied by his sponsors 4May stores, said he needed to see how their next big game against Highlanders pans out.
“Not as yet, I am still sticking with what we said, one game at a time, we are facing another tough assignment against a good Highlanders side and after that match we can really can know whether we can push for the championship,” he said.
CAPS United will probably count the cost of gambling on Amon Kambanje to start ahead of Nigerian forward Abasirim Chidiebere, whose introduction after the break gave them life in attack.
CAPS United: E. Sibanda, V. Musarurwa, H. Zvirekwi, C. Munzabwa, S. Makatuka, D. Chafa, K. Nyamupfukudza (J. Ngodzo 82nd min) P. Bamusi, T. Rusike (M. Muchenje 61st min), J. Zhuwawu, A. Kambanje (A. Chidiebere 46th min).
Dynamos: T. Mateyaunga, P. Makaha,, P. Dube, L. Zvasiya, G. Mukambi, T. Chipunza, G. Saunyama, D. Mukamba (T. Macheke 67th min), O. Mushure (E. Mandiranga 85th min), C. Kapupurika, C. Ntouba (Q. Kangadze 81st min). The Herald