The Sunday Mail
Langton Nyakwenda in BULAWAYO
Bulawayo Chiefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 2
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
THERE was heavy police presence at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday but this time there was no crowd trouble, even after Dynamos suffered a deflating Castle Lager Premier Soccer League defeat to Bulawayo Chiefs.
Hundreds of police officers were on high alert following violent scenes that forced the abandonment of last weekend’s Battle of Zimbabwe clash between Dynamos and Highlanders at the same venue.
In stark contrast, there was peace at Barbourfields, as the Dynamos fans housed in the Mpilo End sang songs and danced well after the final whistle, despite their team having suffered a first defeat in their last six matches.
It was also new coach Genesis Mangombe’s first loss since taking over from Herbert Maruwa.
The defeat means Dynamos have lost some ground in the championship race following log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars’ 3-0 win over Green Fuel at Baobab Stadium.
In winning yesterday’s game, Chiefs maintained their dominance over DeMbare, whom they upstaged 3-2 at the National Sports Stadium in the reverse fixture.
Chiefs may have reportedly been dogged by some in-house problems in the run-up to the game but they always get some extra motivation when playing Dynamos.
Ngezi are now on 45 points, nine ahead of DeMbare, who look set to be awarded the result of the abandoned game against Bosso.
Dynamos were a pale shadow of the side that literally overran Highlanders in the 38 minutes played last weekend.
Their players did not come to the party, especially during a dull first half that failed to produce goals.
However, the second half produced three goals inside five minutes, with Chiefs taking the lead two minutes after the restart when skipper Malvin Mkolo squeezed the ball home.
DeMbare responded three minutes later, courtesy of Donald Mudadi, who let fly a screamer from inside the 18-yard box.
A minute later, bustling striker Obriel Chirinda scored his 10th goal of the season to take charge of the Golden Boot race.
Manica Diamonds’ Fortune Binzi was not on target yesterday when his team beat ZPC Kariba 2-0 at Gibbo and remains on nine goals.
In the end, DeMbare coach Mangombe felt his charges paid the price for being complacent.
“Bulawayo Chiefs are always a stubborn team, especially when we play them, so we needed character,” said Mangombe.
Chiefs stunned Dynamos 3-2 in the reverse fixture on April 23.
“It was a good game, though we failed to match our opponents; we needed intensity going forward.
“But it’s a game of football; at some point you lose,” added Mangombe.
Dynamos’ midfield lacked Tanaka Shandirwa’s industry as the central midfielder missed yesterday’s match through injury.
In his absence, Shadreck Nyahwa was thrown into the fray but there was no fluidity in the DeMbare engine room.
Chiefs coach Johanisi Nhumwa capitalised on Shandirwa’s absence.
In fact, he went into the match with a plan to neutralise DeMbare’s midfield.
And the plan worked well as veteran Danny Phiri and the talented Mthokozisi Msebe bossed their opponents in the middle of the park.
“It is just good to win,” said Nhumwa.
That was his first win since he replaced Lizwe Sweswe at Chiefs in July.
It was also Amakhosi Amahle’s first win in eight matches.
“Dynamos are a very good team, they are the most supported team in the country and it is good to win against them,’’ Nhumwa said.
Chiefs could have grabbed an early lead but Chirinda’s effort was cleared by Frank Makarati after only two minutes.
The two players were later on engaged in an off-the-ball incident, resulting in Makarati receiving a yellow card.
He pushed Chirinda to the ground and was lucky not to be sent off for an early shower.
The marauding Chirinda then shot wide after 25 minutes, when he was played through by Farau Matare.
The first half produced few chances and no goal.
Yet the second stanza was full of drama and action.
Three goals were scored in five minutes and more could have come had both sets of players been clinical.
Emmanuel Ziocha, who came on as a second-half substitute, tried from afar but his effort sailed over bar in the 90th minute.
Msebe hit the post with a brilliant free-kick moments later.
Dynamos’ other substitute Nyasha Chintuli thought he had found the equaliser deep into added time but his snapshot was smothered by Issa Ali.
Victory took Chiefs’ tally to 29 points, as they dislodged Green Fuel from eighth place.
Bulawayo Chiefs: I. Ali, K. Sindanda, N. Gama (M. Hativagoni 94), M. Msebe, O. Chirinda (D. Slowly 74), M. Mkolo (A. Ncube 93rd), D. Phiri, F. Matare (B. Veremu 58), B. Nyahunzvi, F. Moyo, M. Gasela
Dynamos: T. Mvula, E. Jalai, K. Moyo, F. Makarati, E. Moyo, S. Nyahwa (A. Musiyiwa 46), J. Makunike, D. Mudadi (E. Ziocha 67) I. Sadiki (E. Paga 67), K. Madera (N. Chintuli 79), E. Ilunga (E. Chikona 46)