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Dembare shoot to the top

by Staff reporter
10 Apr 2022 at 08:10hrs | Views
Ngezi Platinum Stars 0 - 0 Dynamos
IN the end, the six-year jinx was not broken as Dynamos once again failed to win or score against Ngezi Platinum Stars in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Baobab Stadium in Mhondoro yesterday.

DeMbare, who shot to the top of the log standings on superior goal difference following Chicken Inn's shocking 3-0 loss to basement side Whawha yesterday, have never won a league match at Baobab since 2016 when Ngezi made their Premiership bow.

It was a third consecutive goalless draw in the league between the two rivals, although DeMbare benefited from the share of spoils as Chicken Inn's defeat at Ascot helped the Harare giants dislodge the Gamecocks at the summit.

The duel between Ngezi and DeMbare lived up to its pre-match billing as action swung from one end to the other.

Ngezi looked a well-drilled side as new coach Benjani Mwaruwari presided over his first match at Baobab since his recent appointment.

It was the visitors who did most of the defending, with Dynamos centre-back Frank Makarati once again proving why he is now rated as one of the best defenders in the country.

After watching his side survive at Baobab, it was not surprising to hear Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya admitting that the draw was a welcome relief.

"We didn't create so many chances today. We were also slow in the midfield and that put our defence under pressure.

"A point away from home is always acceptable, especially when you play a team like Ngezi," said Ndiraya.

"We want to keep collecting points; it's good for the team.

"It's still a long way, we have to keep pushing.

"I am proud of the players and the supporters who keep rallying behind the boys."

The match was played before a decent crowd.

The carnival atmosphere started on the R5 Highway, commonly known as Bulawayo Road, which DeMbare fans painted blue up to the half-way roundabout at Selous, from which they took the left turn into the Mhondoro-Ngezi stretch.

And the fans were not short-changed either. The two sides put up a commendable show in a game that was handled by unheralded referee Busani Siwawa.

He, however, hogged the limelight in the 82nd minute when he waved away loud appeals for a penalty by the home side when Tino Muringai appeared to have handled in an attempt to clear Denver Mukamba's low drive.

Mukamba was back to his usual menacing form.

His clever passes mesmerised his opponents throughout the match.

The hosts were the livelier side in the early exchanges, with Mukamba threading some neat passes, while Delic Murimba's pace appeared to unsettle the Dynamos defence.

Murimba's trickery earned Makarati a yellow card after 16 minutes when the Dynamos defender illegally body-checked him.

Qadr Amini wasted the resultant free-kick.

But it was DeMbare who nearly found the opener in the 24th minute when Emmanuel Paga shot over bar with his weaker left foot from an acute angle.

The Ghanaian import weaved his way past two defenders and picked up Shadreck Nyahwa, whose deft return pass set Paga free on the left edge of the six-yard box.

Dynamos were back hunting 10 minutes later, with Trevor Mavhunga heading over Godknows Murwira's free-kick.

Ngezi regrouped, with Mukamba causing all sorts of problems, but they found Makarati resolute in defence.

Dynamos' teenage forward Bill Antonio had a quiet first half but won a dangerous free-kick when he was fouled by Malon Mushonga on the edge of the box.

Murwira wasted the resultant set-piece.

Ngezi started the second half in the same way they began the game, probing the Dynamos defence.

But still they couldn't find a way past Makarati and his colleagues.

Valentine Kadonzvo and Mukamba exchanged passes on the edge of the box before the latter shot wide after 65 minutes.

Mwaruwari then introduced highly-rated CUMA Academy product Takunda Benhura for an ineffective Bruno Mtigo.

CUMA owner and former Warriors striker Cuthbert Malajila was among the prominent figures in the VIP tribune.

Ngezi broke through once again, but Mukamba's low drive was punched away by a diving Taimon Mvula.

A few minutes later, Kudzai Chigwida's header off a corner by Amini was cleared off the line by Muringai.

Substitute Benhura headed over a brilliant cross from the right by Ariel Makopa, as action swung like a pendulum.

Mukamba's long-range strike went wide as the hosts sensed blood.

Ngezi had a loud shout for a penalty eight minutes from time when Muringai appeared to have handled the ball in an attempt to clear Mukamba's grounder.

But referee Siwawa ignored the calls.

Ndiraya responded by introducing veteran striker Evans Katema a minute later.

However, Ngezi continued to attack, with Mukamba swinging in a dangerous corner that was punched away from the line by Mvula, as Mwaruwari's men pressed for the winner.

Ndiraya then sought to manage the game by becoming more defensive, bringing in Keith Murera for an off-colour Murwira in the last minute of the game.

DeMbare held on for what Ndiraya described as a precious point.

His counterpart, Mwaruwari, was also pleased with his charges and took home some positives.

"There were a lot of positives from our boys. They played so well.

"A clean sheet at home in my first game at home, I am very impressed with the boys.

"It's a point gained considering where we are coming from. We also created a lot of chances, which is good as well.

"When you are building something, you don't expect immediate results," said Mwaruwari.


Ngezi Platinum Stars: N. Chadya, K. Chigwida, Q. Amini, M. Mushonga, Ariel Makopa, P. Moyo, M. Mukumba, B. Mtigo (T. Benhura 66th), D. Mukamba, V. Kadonzvo, D. Murimba (T. Musariranwa 84th)

Dynamos: T. Mvula, E. Jalai, P. Jaure, F. Makarati, T. Muringai, B. Mpofu, G. Murwira (90th), S. Nyahwa, T. Mavhunga, E. Paga (E. Katema 82nd) B. Antonio

Source - The Sunday Mail
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