The Sunday News
Harare City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
A LOT has been said about Archieford Gutu’s match fitness or lack of it, his weight or overweight has also been a subject of debate in the past few days but there was no doubt the veteran linkman still has the touch of class after his exquisite free-kick buried 10-man Harare City at Rufaro yesterday.
Gutu, a mid-season quick fix signing by Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya during this July window, announced his return to the local Premiership with a 31st minute goal that gave DeMbare their first Castle Lager Premiership victory in three matches.
Simba Nhivi was brought down by Munyaradzi Diro Nyenye and DeMbare players initially appealed for a penalty but referee Ruzive Ruzive judged that offence was committed from just outside the box.
When almost everyone thought the left-footed Tinotenda Muringani was better positioned to take the set piece, Gutu stepped up and curled the ball beyond the Harare City wall and beyond a bemused Maxwell Nyamupanedengu.
The win, Ndiraya’s fifth since taking over from Lloyd Chigowe on April 25, also pushed Dynamos to fifth position on the log with 23 points, eight behind log leaders FC Platinum who lost 0-1 against Black Rhinos at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Ndiraya has presided over 12 matches since taking over from Chigowe and has registered five wins, five draws and two losses.
He has garnered 20 out of a possible 36 points, translating to a 56 percent success rate for the former Ngezi Platinum Stars coach.
Under Ndiraya, Dynamos have conceded six goals in 12 matches and the only time that DeMbare let in more than one goal in a match was during a 0-2 loss at Bulawayo Chiefs on May 18.
Dynamos have kept seven clean sheets in 12 matches and have conceded only once at Rufaro, in the 1-1 draw against Caps United last Sunday.
But Dynamos have also not scored more than one goal in a match since Ndiraya assumed the reigns, a statistic that is worrying the Zimbabwe national Under-23 coach.
“This is a team under reconstruction, basically, our target is the restoration of Dynamos to where it should be, where it belongs. That’s the most important thing.
“I think we had become a laughing stock, we had fallen far, far behind the top teams. We are a big team, of course in terms of stature, but obviously in terms of performance we have been way behind but I am slowly seeing that gap being closed.
“My wish is to see the team fighting at the top, fighting with the other big boys,” Ndiraya said.
In the games they have won, Dynamos have done so ugly in some instances and yesterday Harare City dominated possession, with rookie winger Shingirai Masukuta showing a lot promise, but “The Sunshine Boys” left Rufaro pointless.
Masukuta, a product of Harare City’s sound junior development programme, was by far the most outstanding player for Mark Mathe’s side and could have levelled the scores in the 62nd minute had Godknows Murwira not thrown his body to block his goal bound shot.
Masukuta came back to haunt Dynamos in the 80th minute but his left footed strike was brilliantly saved by Simba Chinani who was full of unnecessary showboating throughout the afternoon.
“People will say he (Mathe) has drawn thrice, lost once but no one is looking at the positives. We have a youth developmental team and it is also my duty to bring in young players into the main team.
“As you have seen he (Masukuta) played like a seasoned player, you couldn’t believe he was playing Division One football last season,” Mathe told the media.
It ended badly for City as captain Marshal Machazani was red-carded for elbowing his DeMbare counterpart Godfrey “Marabha” Mukambi in the last minute of action.
Mukambi, who skippered DeMbare in the absence of both Edward Sadomba and Jimmy Tigere, had a good show and his performance did not escape the eye of Harare City coach Mathe.
“We changed the format and tactics in the second half, we had two forwards, used a lot of width, used a lot of speed but credit to them (Dynamos) they defended very well especially Godfrey (Mukambi), this underrated defender from Dynamos.
“I think he defended very well, I have to be honest,” Mathe said.
Harare City dropped to 12th on the log with 19 points ahead of their trip to Ngezi Platinum Stars next weekend.
Harare City: M. Nyamupangedengu, M. Machazani, C. Mujuru, T. Chimwemwe, M. Diro Nyenye, S. Masukuta, W. Manondo (Vengesayi 57 mins), T. Tavengwa, K. Musharu, I. Wadi, M. Mukunga l Mukanga 71 mins),
Dynamos: S. Chinani, E. Jalai, T. Muringani, G. Murwira, M. Mawadza, A. Maliselo, G. Mukambi, A. Gutu (Mupamawonde 85 mins), N. Katawa (Chisi 68 mins), S. Nhivi, J. Selemani (Gona 90+2 mins)