Ngqwele Dube, Sunday News Correspondent
Bantu Rovers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (3) 3
FORMER champions Dynamos laboured to a 3-2 victory against relegated Bantu Rovers to ratchet up the pressure on Castle Lager Premier Soccer League leaders FC Platinum and force the race to the wire.
FC Platinum beat Ngezi Platinum 2-1 at Mandava to maintain a two point lead over Dynamos. Dynamos have amassed 67 points with one game to go while FC Platinum is on 69.
Dynamos coach, Lloyd Mutasa said they would be taking the game to FC Platinum and would fight to the end.
“Dynamos being Dynamos, we can only believe we are out of the race when the game is over so for now we are fighting and we will give it all that we have,” he said.
First half goals from Christian Epopua, Quality Kangadze and captain, Ocean Mushure were enough to give DeMbare victory while Bantu got their goals from McCarthy Dube and Nigel Papius in a game of two halves.
DeMbare were quick off the blocks and unsettling Bantu with two goals within a space of 10 minutes before making it three 14 minutes later.
Cameroonian, Epoupa drew first blood in the sixth minute when he was fed by Kangadze from the right flank and he obligingly tapped in the ball in a defensive lapse by Bantu that saw the striker shoot unmarked.
Another sloppy defending effort saw Masimba Mambare feed Epoupa inside the box who passed it to Kangadze and he slotted it in, sending the Dynamos faithful into delirium in the 10th minute.
A mishap by veteran, Tapiwa Kumbuyani saw him gift Mushure the ball in the 24th minute when he was supposed to clear it and with only Bantu goalkeeper, Wellington Muuya to beat, the Dynamos captain made it three.
The youthful Bantu side did not give up and Dube drew one back two minutes before the break.
Bantu returned a more purposeful side in the second half and they were rewarded with a penalty two minutes after resumption when Dynamos’ Tichaona Chipunza brought down substitute Lucky Ndlela inside the box and referee Thabani Bhamala pointed to the spot.
Papius stepped up and converted the spot kick to make it two for Tshintsha Guluva.
The home side dominated exchanges in the second half, creating meaningful chances but failed to find the equaliser while the visitors were subdued and occasionally looked like they would surrender the lead.
Mutasa said they would not be underestimating Chicken Inn whom they face in the last match of the season at Rufaro Stadium next weekend.
“Chicken Inn are one of the sides that have played well this season under Rahman Gumbo and I feel they are one of the sides that should have been in the race until the wire meaning we have to be at our best for the encounter,” he said.
Bantu coach Methembe Ndlovu was disappointed with the loss.
“The boys did their best unfortunately we started very poorly which was uncharacteristic for us but we managed to regain our footing and I think other than the early mishap the rest of the game was a fairly balanced affair and we are quite disappointed to come out at the losing end of the game today,” he said.
Bantu Rovers: W Muuya, K Dzingwe (L Ndlela, 46th), L Mcube, D Ndlovu, N Garayi, T Kumbuyani, P Zivengwa, S Nyahuna, N Papius, M Dube (N Mpofu, 74th), M Chitambwe
Dynamos: T Mateyaunga, P Makaha, R Matova (V Kadonzvo, 55th), M Machazane, G Mukambi, T Chipunza, M Mambare (K Dhemere, 70th), Q Kangadze (G Saunyama, 86th), C Kapupurika, C Epoupa, O Mushure, B Mwanandimutsire.