By Eddie Chikamhi
Dynamos ……………… (0)
Highlanders…………. (0) 1
HIGHLANDERS coach Bongani Mafu says the Bulawayo giants were relieved to post a rare win over bitter rivals Dynamos in the final of the Commander ZNA Charities Shield final at Rufaro yesterday.
Veteran forward Obadiah Tarumbwa scored the only goal of the match in the 51st minute when he took advantage of a lapse in concentration by the Dynamos defenders to beat goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi with a rising shot.
But while relief was written all over Mafu’s face, at the end of the match, it was a bad start for his opposite number Tonderai Ndiraya.
The former DeMbare midfielder succumbed to what the DeMbare family would term an “unacceptable” defeat, against their biggest rivals, in his first match in charge after taking over from David Mandigora last Friday.
Mafu believes the victory should be a huge morale-booster ahead of the final lap of the league competition.
Bosso have been struggling of late.
“This is for the boys. They have worked hard for this and I think they deserved it. It always means a lot to anyone to win. Now we have got the victory let’s enjoy it while it lasts. It has been a long time (since we last beat Dynamos),” said Mafu.
“It should boost our confidence. We have suffered long and I think this victory will give the boys a chance to at least smile about something.
“The chairman and the executive have taken a lot of flak and the league is still not properly set for us. We still have a lot to do to sort out the league campaign.”
Highlanders last beat Dynamos in the 2011 Independence Cup when they romped to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win following a goalless stalemate.
Bosso, however, have failed to win in the league since 2006.
They played with purpose yesterday and managed to hold on to their lead after surviving an early onslaught from the Harare giants.
Dynamos paid dearly for missing their chances in the first half with Rodreck Mutuma twice letting his teammates down when he failed to connect from close range.
Mutuma was too slow to react when Masimba Mambare sent a good cross into the box with four minutes into the game.
He also had the chance to give his side the advantage but again his sliding effort apparently was not the best decision when Takesure Chinyama sent an almost similar delivery shortly before the half time whistle.
At the other end, Tarumbwa was a menace, with youthful midfielder King Nadolo ensuring that there was always a constant supply.
Although not always precise, Tarumbwa took a couple of shots yesterday probably in response to the criticism by his coach following the 1-1 draw between the sides at Barbourfields last weekend.
He was on point in the 51st minute when Nadolo beat DeMbare skipper Augustine Mbara on the left and flighted a good cross which the defenders failed to read well.
Tarumbwa gladly welcomed the opportunity as he had all the time in the world to pick his spot from close range with the ‘keeper badly exposed.
Things got even worse for Dynamos when they lost their central defender Sydney Linyama through injury.
Bosso substitute Bruce Kangwa could have added the advantage on 88 minutes after receiving a pass from Tarumbwa but his rising shot rattled the woodwork.
DeMbare coach Ndiraya said it was sad to lose to Highlanders.
He said it was not their day but was happy with his team’s application, especially 18-year-old Kudzanai Nyakasaka who acquitted himself well in the left-back position.
“It’s quite sad to lose a cup final but I thought our boys did very well. We controlled the match. It’s only that slight loss in concentration which cost us the game but overall I thought my boys controlled the game,” said Ndiraya.
Dynamos – A. Mukandi, O. Mwerahari, K. Nyakasaka, S. Linyama (R. Kawondera, 63rd minute), A. Mbara, S. Alimenda, W. Mukanga (E. Opoku, 83rd minute), G. Murwira, M. Mambare, T. Chinyama, R. Mutuma (T. Kadyaridzire, 75th minute)
DeMbare – N. Nyoni, W. Chingodza, H. Moyo, E. Mudzingwa, F. Chindungwe, T. Ngulube, S. Munawa, K. Nadolo, R. Kuntsanzira (B. Kangwa, 73rd minute), E. Muzanenhamo, O. Tarumbwa. The Herald