The Sunday Mail
Langton Nyakwenda in BULAWAYO
Hwange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
DYNAMOS missed a glut of chances but still managed to see off Castle Lager Premier Soccer League returnees Hwange at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Second-half substitute Tinashe Makanda rifled home the winner in the 70th minute, just three minutes after he was introduced, to spark wild celebrations at the Mpilo End.
He was fed by another substitute, Denver Mukamba.
Dynamos had missed a lot of chances in a first half they dominated, with Emmanuel Paga, Eli Ilunga, Elvis Moyo and Tendai Matindife all coming close.
“It’s a good start. We were playing away from home but we managed to get a win.
“It’s a good result.
“But it’s still too early to talk about targets,’’ said Dynamos coach Herbert Maruwa.
He felt his charges are still work in progress.
Ilunga could have killed off the game 10 minutes from time but he mistimed Makanda’s low cross from the right.
DeMbare’s first chance of the game fell to the former Black Rhinos striker, who glanced his header off target from a cross by Emmanuel Jalai after 11 minutes.
Hwange came close a few minutes later, when Shepherd Gadzikwa was denied by Taimon Mvula from close range.
The Hwange striker then shot straight at the goalkeeper after he was sent through by Thabani Goredema in the 22nd minute.
DeMbare’s best chance came in the 24th minute, when Ghanaian Paga skied his effort from close range after Hwange keeper Nedric Madeya had punched the ball onto his path.
Matindife tried his luck from range after 33 minutes but Madeya was up to the task.
DeMbare skipper Frank Makarati fired over the bar from the resultant corner.
Dynamos were sensing blood, as Matindife hit the upright with a stinging shot inside the 18-yard box a few minutes later.
There was drama at the break, when Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro sprinkled some liquid into the nets at the Mpilo End, ostensibly to “unlock” the goals.
DeMbare believed there was juju on Madeya’s big white towel, which he spread behind his goal.
An overzealous Dynamos fan later skipped the perimeter fence and took the towel just before the second half.
The towel was then burnt to ashes by some superstitious DeMbare fans.
In the second half, Makarati thought he had found the elusive opener, when he headed home a delivery from the impressive Tanaka “Kante” Shandirwa, but he was ruled offside.
Matindife was again thwarted by Mandeya at the hour mark, after some fine exchange of passes with Paga.
Dynamos coach Maruwa then threw in crowd favourite Mukamba as the search for a breakthrough continued.
Makanda was also sent on in the 67th minute and three minutes later, the pair combined to give Dynamos the lead.
Mukamba dribbled past a number of Hwange players at the edge of the box before laying the ball for Makanda, who rifled home to spark wild celebrations.
Ilunga then had the chance to seal the game as a contest in the 80th minute but he mistimed a cross from the right by Makanda.
The Soccer Star of the Year finalist then shot wide after he was played through by late substitute Junior Makunike.
Hwange had one shot on target in the entire game.
Their coach, Nation Dube, remains hopeful his men will adjust to life in the Premiership.
“(For) most of the boys, it was their first time playing in the Premier Soccer League, let alone at Barbourfields,’’ said Dube.
“We have to work on our transition, but it will come right . . .
“That goal was a result of loss of concentration on the part of the boys. Our target is to remain in the league.”
Hwange: N. Madeya, K. Shiyandindi, G. Gumpo, E. Zulu, B. Mlotshwa, T. Goredema, S. Sithole (E. Gwitima 57’), B. Ngoma (K. Nasama 73’), C. Nkomo (E. Nkulungo 80’), S. Gadzikwa, J. Chivasa (I. Makopa 73’)
Dynamos: T. Mvula, E. Jalai, F. Makarati, K. Moyo, E. Moyo, T. Shandirwa, D. Mudadi, A. Musiyiwa (D. Mukamba 65’), T. Matindife (J. Makunike 84’), E. Paga (T. Makanda 67’), E. Ilunga
■ Twitter: @LangtonGuraz