DeMbare not panicking

31 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
DeMbare not panicking Emmanuel Jalai

The Sunday Mail

Langton Nyakwenda

IT has been an indifferent Easter holiday for last season’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League’s top three sides.

Champions Ngezi Platinum Stars are yet to win a game going into Match Day Four of the new term.

Last year’s runners-up Manica Diamonds are also in the same predicament as they still search for a first win of the season.

Similarly, Harare giants Dynamos, who ended third last season, have not won in three starts, characterised by two draws and an opening day 2-1 defeat to old rivals Highlanders.

Evans Katema

Dynamos followed that loss at Barbourfields Stadium with a 2-2 draw against Hwange a week later at the same venue.

On Good Friday, Dynamos marked their return to their favourite hunting ground, Rufaro Stadium, for the first time in five years.

But there was still no turn around to their slow start to the season as they laboured to a goalless draw against Yadah, with DeMbare playing second fiddle for large portions of the game. But Dynamos coach Genesis “Kaka” Mangombe is not pressing the panic button yet.  He is confident DeMbare will soon strike the right chord as they look to their Easter Monday assignment against Bikita Minerals at Sakubva Stadium.

For Mangombe, a win tomorrow should set the tone for his team.

“This match is a must-win, or should I say, we should win this one at all costs,” Mangombe said.

Just like last season, Dynamos have been playing some enterprising football.

Against Hwange, they were dominant. There were moments in which they also seized control of the game against Yadah.

During a dominant spell in the opening half against Yadah, DeMbare had a goal disallowed for offside, and Mangombe believes that was the turning point of the match.

“Dynamos being Dynamos, they are a big team with a rich history and their fans want good results all the time, but sometimes we face situations which are beyond our control.

“If you look at the game against Yadah, we had a goal disallowed for offside, but if that goal stood, I am sure we would have gone on to score more because of the momentum,” Mangombe said.

Slowly, Dynamos’ central midfield is taking shape in the aftermath of Junior Makunike’s departure.

Ghanaian Frederick Ansah Botchway gave a hint of what he can eventually produce if he settles at the Glamour Boys.

Temptation Chiwunga’s maturity and composure were evident in the game against Yadah, while stand-in-captain Emmanuel Jalai was a bundle of energy on the right channel.

But Mangombe is fretting over the injuries to two of his best midfielders, Donald Mudadi and Tanaka Shandirwa.

Mudadi reportedly aggravated an ankle injury against Yadah, while Shandirwa, who sat out the game against Yadah, is also battling for fitness.

“The team is playing well. We are creating chances; a lot of them, and it’s only that we are not scoring. There is no need to press the panic button; it’s still early days,” said Mangombe.

“But, at the same time, we also have to correct our mistakes. We need to improve our conversion and I am sure we will come right against Bikita Minerals. They are the underdogs going into this match, but they are a very organised side.”

Dynamos need to quickly address their problems upfront.

They brought in Namibian striker Sadney Urikhob, but the stocky forward has so far failed to live up to the pre-season hype that characterised his arrival in Harare.

Alexander Mandinyenya, who joined DeMbare from Simba Bhora, is still to prove his worth, although he scored a goal in the 1-2 loss against Bosso on Match Day One.

The two strikers are under pressure going into today’s match against debutants Bikita, who have so far punched above their weight.

The Lithium Boys drew 1-1 against Yadah in their first top-flight league match at Sakubva Stadium last Sunday, before stunning CAPS United with a 1-0 victory at Rufaro Stadium on Thursday.

They have a widely travelled and seasoned coach in Saul Chaminuka.

Chaminuka has blended youth and experience by including veterans like Allan Gahadzikwa, Evans Katema and Russel Madamombe in his ensemble.

Winger Chris Makambira, who scored against Makepekepe on Good Friday, has been a revelation and Chaminuka has backed him to cause waves this season.

It looks like Mutare football fans are in for a treat tomorrow.

“Fans should come in their numbers to watch the match. It’s going to be a good match. We need to win this one so that we return to Rufaro against Bulawayo Chiefs with our tails up,” Mangombe added.

CAPS United, who have blown hot and cold in the early days in the season, welcome newboys Arenel in one of four fixtures across the country this afternoon.

Winless Chegutu Pirates receive GreeenFuel at Baobab Stadium, Herentals date former champions FC Platinum at Nyamhunga Stadium in Kariba and Chicken Inn square off against ZPC Kariba at Luveve Stadium.

Fixtures:

Today:

Chegutu Pirates v GreenFuel (Baobab); Chicken Inn v ZPC Kariba (Luveve); Herentals v FC Platinum (Nyamhunga); CAPS United v Arenel (Rufaro)

 Tomorrow:

Simba Bhora v Hwange (Wadzanai), TelOne v Highlanders (Bata), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Manica Diamonds (Baobab), Bulawayo Chiefs v Yadah (Luveve), Bikita Minerals v Dynamos (Sakubva)

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