Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
ZPC Kariba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
AFTER featuring in a number of pre-season friendlies mostly with lower division sides since last month and feeling satisfied, Dynamos coach Paulo Jorge Silva yesterday said he has been awakened to the serious challenges that awaits him in the next month after his side was knocked out of the ZNA Charities Soccer Shield tournament by Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa’s ZPC Kariba.
Attacking midfielder Wisdom Mutasa gave Silva his first defeat in the first quarter-final match of the tournament when he scored directly from a corner-kick in the 43rd minute.
DeMbare never recovered from that blow as ZPC Kariba looked solid from the back where former Warriors stalwart Thomas Sweswe directed the show alongside Sylvester Appiah. The ZPC Kariba defence also featured newboys Timire Mamvura and Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe who operated from the wings as Chidzambwa took the opportunity to assess his largely newlook side in only their second pre-season game.
ZPC Kariba, who last week beat Karoi United 2-1, also featured former Harare City winger Talent Chawapihwa, ex-CAPS United striker Godknows Mangani, Osborne Mukuradare and Never Tigere, who came in as second-half substitute.
But it was Dynamos who nearly scored first when they won a free-kick just outside the penalty box but Ocean Mushure’s curling effort just scratched the crossbar with goalkeeper Tendai Hove out of picture with a quarter of an hour played.
Roderick Mutuma then failed to connect a long ball from Godknows Mangani which he sent over the cross bar the first time from a good position.
ZPC Kariba were not much of a threat to the DeMbare defence but things brightened up when Mukuradare, who struggled with his game yesterday, was upended by Ocean Mushure inside the penalty arc.
DeMbare defended well but there was nothing they could do from Mutasa’s resultant corner which dipped in front of the goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva who only aided the ball in from his frantic attempt at the near post.
Silva said he took the blame for DeMbare’s loss and would want to work on the blunders that were exposed by ZPC Kariba yesterday.
The Portuguese coach believes he still has a long way to go with his team before the start of the season early April and would like to maximise on the remaining month, starting with his team’s tours of Malawi and Tanzania for international friendlies this week.
“I am happy with my players for their fighting (spirit). It was a training game, it’s true I wanted to win and my boys tried but today it was not possible. It happens in some games.
“We need to work more in the pre-season. I want to congratulate ZPC Kariba, they played better than us.
“It’s a game, it’s good for me. I see what my mistakes are and what the teams are and today I can tell you it was my mistake. We lost because of me. I needed to prepare the team to win and the team today didn’t play to win. ZPC Kariba played better. They scored a goal and I wish good luck to them,” said Silva.
Dynamos welcomed their new foreign acquisition Portuguese midfielder Carlos Alexandre Mendes Branco who took part in the warm-up exercise much to the excitement of the club’s supporters.
Branco, however, had to watch the match from the terraces as the coach had no plans to field him yesterday.
Chidzambwa was happy with the display of his players although he reckons that he would need to work more to improve his team’s fitness.
“I think my guys were a bit tired in the last 15 to 20 minutes and we just have to work on that,” said Chidzambwa.
“We have only trained for three weeks and I think if these youngsters get fit we can perform better than we did last season. This was only a pre-season practice game, so there is not much to talk about. The season is starting in April and we have the whole of March to prepare and we are just doing that.
“If I were to be honest, I would love to win everything but that is impossible in football. In football you may win, lose or draw but I would love to win as many honours as possible.”
ZPC Kariba, who were playing in the tournament for the first time, will proceed to the semi-finals of the ZNA Charities. However, they will have to wait for the outcomes of the other quarter-final matches featuring Harare City/ CAPS United, FC Platinum/ How Mine and Highlanders/ Chicken Inn.
Dynamos: T. Mukuruva, G. Murwira, O. Mushure, E. Muroiwa, A. Mbara, S. Alimenda (D. Mukandi, 46th minute), T. Chipunza, W. Mukanga, M. Mambare (R. Kawondera, 46th minute), F. Mupasiri (C. Rusere, 70th minute), R. Mutuma
ZPC Kariba: T. Hove, T. Mamvura (T. Munyanduri, 48TH minute), M. Kunyarimwe, S. Appiah, E. Meleke, T. Chawapihwa, G. Mangani, W. Mutasa, L. Chikafa (N. Tigere, 68th minute), O. Mukuradare (T. Nyamandwe, 60th minute)