The Sunday Mail
Don Makanyanga in Mhondoro Ngezi
Ngezi Platinum Stars………… 0
JUST over a year after leaving Mhondoro, Tonderai Ndiraya made his return to face Ngezi, although he could not engineer a first Castle Lager Premier Soccer League win for Dynamos at Baobab.
After the match, Ndiraya revealed that he felt awkward sitting on the visitors’ bench at what has become his second home after his beloved Dynamos and its favourite hunting ground Rufaro.
It was an emotional return for the national Under-23 coach who was warmly received by the platinum miners’ supporters. “I was coming in from another corner and to receive such a welcome was really nice and a bit emotional. “I spent three years here and I know the strengths and weaknesses of this team, it was scary to play them. For us to come up with a point was a job well done,’’ Ndiraya said.
Despite being at Dynamos, Ndiraya continues to be linked with a return to Ngezi.
“ln football, there is always speculation, you never know what happens, but I am at Dynamos now,” he said. His counterpart Rodwell Dhlakama believes that the Ndiraya factor also played into his players’ minds during their first reunion with their former coach.
“This was a bit of an emotional game for the players and coach Ndiraya,” said Dhlakama.
The former Chapungu gaffer blamed his charges for failing to convert chances that came their way.
“We failed to convert chances that came out and we have to work on the finishing.”
Dynamos began the game a jittery side, something that has become common for the Harare giants. They failed to string more than five passes.
The nervy DeMbare defence nearly gifted the hosts an early lead when Godfrey Mukamba failed to clear the ball just outside the box. However, Ngezi could not punish him for the miscue that was put to waste by Tichaona Mabvura when he blasted the golden opportunity over the bar.
Dynamos found their rhythm in the 18th minute, making in-roads into the hosts defence, which saw Nigel Katawa finding Edward Sadomba clear on goal.
But, the veteran striker, who came face to face with Nelson Chadya in goals for Ngezi Platinum Stars, could not beat the national Under-23 goalkeeper who did well to deny the DeMbare skipper.
Ngezi continued to dominate the proceedings in the first half, thereby forcing Dynamos on the back foot. But, poor finishing was their biggest undoing.
Five minutes after the breather, Donald Teguru’s long range shot was parried back into play before Mabvura sent his effort over again.
Dynamos only had a single shot on target in the second half when an overhead kick was cleared off-the line by Ariel Makopa in the 70th minute.
The former champions, who might have become draw specialists, could have conceded five minutes from time when Simbarashe Chinani was called into action and saved the day for the visitors with a crucial save off a Teguru free header.