From Sikhumbuzo Moyo in BULAWAYO
BASEMENT side Quelaton matched their more illustrious opponents Dynamos man for man but still fell by a solitary goal in a lively Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter at Luveve yesterday.
Former Njube Sundowns player, David Kutyauripo scrambled a header off an Ocean Mushure corner kick, five minutes after the breather to send the predominantly DeMbare crowd into a frenzy as they suddenly realised that victory was possible.
Their stubborn hosts had shut them out for the entire first half, save for a few individual moments of brilliance from Orlando Pirates-bound striker Takesure Chinyama.
Dynamos came into the game under pressure to do well and make up for their pathetic show in the Confederation Cup in which they held 0-0 at Rufaro by InterClube of Angola.
That result left the Glamour Boys with a tough task in the reverse fixture in Luanda.
Dynamos’ return to Premiership duties also proved difficult as they huffed and puffed against a fighting Quelaton whose coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube was not amused by the defeat.
“Surely how do we concede such a silly goal. We continue conceding silly goals and it’s clear that the boys are still immature,” said a clearly disappointed Ncube.
If DeMbare came to Bulawayo thinking they were going to overrun their hosts, then the boys in green had other ideas as they showed very little respect for their visitors.
Quelaton seemed to have realised that the 2011 Castle Lager Premiership champions are not invincible and took the game to them, with their defence led by captain
Zibusiso Sibanda solid.
The midfield of Mpumelelo Moyo, Wilberfoce Chiramba and Innocent Kutsanzira was also very mobile although their biggest undoing, as has been the case in
previous games, was the final pass when in front of goal.
But credit should be given to the more experienced Dynamos players as they did not allow the Quelaton surge to disrupt them from what coach Callisto Pasuwa might have told them and kept checking any raids mounted against goalkeeper Washington Arubi’s area especially in the first 15 minutes.
The Harare giants then tried to execute their own raids and how fiery it was.
Inside a minute the Glamour boys forced two corner kicks, the second ending with a pile drive off the left foot of Tichaona Mabvura in the 16th minute that however went over the bar.
From then on, the match was a see-saw affair, each side giving as much as it was getting with Dynamos getting more into their opponents’ defensive third as a result of a consistent loss of balls by Kutsanzira who had a rather below par performance despite starting well.
In the 33rd minute Dynamos were forced to make an injury-inspired change when Zambian Arthur Kaseloki was pulled off injured for Tawanda Muparati who later proved to be a handful for Quelaton. Before the match the Dynamos camp had to change their starting line-up after Partson Jaure was attacked by a stomach bug.
Pasuwa then had to bring on veteran defender George Magariro who had been relegated to the substitutes bench. Two minutes into the thick of things, Muparati unleashed a bullet from the right side that however found an alert Winston Chiwetu who acrobatically tipped it over the bar for a corner, which was wasted though.
A minute later the DeMbare army was asking questions again, this time Chinyama’s diving header from a Kutyauripo cross going wide.
Quelaton were still not intimidated, displaying some nice one-two passes which at times reduced their opponents to an ordinary outfit but still those moves did not yield any goals.
The second period again started with the hosts in control but this time DeMbare struck.
Big forward Chinyama received a pass, shielded his marker but instead of turning towards goal, he was running across it.
Kutsanzira, in a bid to prevent danger as Chinyama can crack a screamer, especially from such close distances, scooped the ball over the bar for a Dynamos corner, which later resulted in the only goal of the game and the three priceless points for the champions.
“We came to Bulawayo to collect maximum points and we got them. Its always difficult to win away from home though and as for the championship, its early days yet but let me make it clear that we want to keep our prized possession home,” said Dynamos assistant coach Tonderayi Ndiraya after the match.
Quelaton: W Chiwetu, W Chiramba, S Dube, Z Sibanda, E Nkhulungo (M Sibanda 61st), I Kutsanzira, G Mleya, M Moyo (T Magumanya 76th), F Nkomazana, P Zireni, P Ncube
Dynamos: W Arubi, D Kutyauripo, G Magariro, T Magorimbo (T Mamvura 57th), M Makopa, R Mutuma, G Zhokinyi, T Mabvura, A Kaseloki (T Muparati 33rd), O Mushure, T Chinyama (D Kabwe 67th).