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Dembare sweat for draw

by Staff reporter
18 Jul 2022 at 08:13hrs | Views
Dynamos  0 - 0 FC Platinum
DEFENDING champions FC Platinum turned up flat and giants Dynamos were equally uninspiring as the eagerly-awaited Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between the title aspirants fizzled out to a dull goalless draw at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

For Dynamos, it was two points dropped at home but they still cherished the outcome of this scrappy affair after stopping FC Platinum's proud winning run that had stretched seven games.

Disappointing as it was for the visitors, their coach Norman Mapeza still embraced the "big point" away from home. And as if to show that the draw was deserved, fans from both sides applauded their teams after the match.

The Glamour Boys coach Tonderai Ndiraya told journalists that sharing the spoils with the in-form log leaders was welcome considering DeMbare were coming from a poor run, which included a disappointing defeat to minnows Cranborne Bullets in their last outing.

"I think it's a good recovery. But if you want to take it from another angle, it's two points dropped," said Ndiraya.

With no clear scoring opportunities at both ends of goal the entire 90 minutes, there was nothing much to write home about, although DeMbare enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the first half, while FC Platinum were an improved lot in the second.

Apart from Bill Antonio getting close a couple of times and the hurried shot by Panashe Mutimbanyoka early in the second half, the fans that braved the chilly weather to attend the match yesterday had nothing much to take home.

Both teams also had a couple of free-kicks in dangerous positions but they couldn't take their chances, as the Glamour Boys' woes in front of goal persisted.

Dynamos have not found the back of the nets in four games now. They last scored on June 5 when they thrashed traditional rivals CAPS United 0-3.

And after another barren outing yesterday, DeMbare continued to trail log leaders FC Platinum by eight points on the log standings, as the top three remained unchanged.

"We really wanted to close the gap between us and our rivals but that did not happen. So I'm a little bit disappointed; but not entirely disappointed because of the manner we played today.

"We were playing a good side, a formidable side. It's not a secret that they had gone on a match winning streak and for us to stop that run and compete the way we did; I think it's quite commendable. So from that angle I want to give credit to the players for the shift that they put in today.

"It was a good shift. I thought we also created better chances than them. But again we continue to mourn about the chances we create and fail to convert. So I'm a bit disappointed from that end," said Ndiraya.

FC Platinum continued to rule the roost in the Premiership race, with 44 points, despite dropping points for the first time in seven outings. Their lead was however slashed down to three points after second-placed Chicken Inn beat Bulawayo Chiefs 3-1 in Bulawayo to move to 41 points.

The platinum miners yesterday had come into the match on the back of an impressive run that gave them the longest winning streak by any team this season. They scored 16 goals in the process and conceded none.

But they could not carve out scoring opportunities yesterday as DeMbare were marking them man for man. The platinum miners had no answer to that strategy and they could not play the usual passing game.

Mapeza was still excited with the point on the road against Dynamos, in a repeat of the reverse fixture that also ended in a barren draw at Mandava earlier in the season.

"It's a point gained for us but there's nothing to talk about in terms of football. We never created opportunities. Dynamos the same thing, they never had opportunities.

"There's nothing to talk about football, nothing to talk about it, save for those soft free kicks which were given to Dynamos. Maybe those were the turning points for the game but for the rest, there's nothing to talk about.

"But for us it's a massive point gained. Another clean sheet, we move forward. We now shift our concentration to our game against ZPC," said Mapeza.

The former Zimbabwe international also felt the referees gave his team a raw deal yesterday for the freekick decisions made against his team in key positions. Mapeza rued the absence of veteran defender Gift Bello, who missed the game against his former employers because of family bereavement.

"For us, I think we missed Gift Bello because he is the one who usually initiates everything from the back. So we missed him so much, not taking anything from those guys but he's the one who sometimes does everything for us.

"I'm not taking anything from these guys today; they played well but you know as a coach I know the caliber of players we have. I know them week in week out and I think we missed Bello today," said Mapeza.

Source - The Herald
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