Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
Dynamos……………….……. (0) 2
FORMER CAPS United player Dominic Mukandi yesterday declared he wants to win the Premiership title with his new club Dynamos this year after the midfielder exhibited lots of promise on his debut for the Harare giants in an international friendly soccer match against Zambian outfit Kabwe Warriors at Rufaro yesterday.
Mukandi, who crossed the Great Divide from Makepekepe during the off-season, won many hearts among the DeMbare faithful after he was introduced as a second-half substitute.
DeMbare won the match courtesy of an own goal by Kabwe Warriors defender Marcel Kalonda and a last-minute penalty conversion by one of their rookies, Musa Madhiri.
The pre-season rust was showing on both teams, but the Glamour Boys managed to score two goals in the second half to subdue the visitors in front of an appreciative crowd of about 15 000.
Mukandi wasted no time to demonstrate glimpses of what the Blue Army should expect this season as he controlled the midfield with great aplomb.
For the record, Mukandi said he is a former Dynamos juniors player and he believes his off-season move was more like a homecoming dream for him.
“I am just returning to my childhood team. That is why you see many of the fans are welcoming me, it’s because they know I am coming back home,” said Mukandi.
“However, it was a tough decision leaving CAPS United but there was really nothing I could do. With the way we are living our lives these days, you need to make progress.
“For my target this season, I have played for many teams, but I have not been able to win the championship. Some of the times we came close at number two or number three but my wish this season is to win the league title.”
Mukandi played alongside fellow newboy Tichaona Chipunza after they were brought in for Stephen Alimenda and Walter Mukanga when Dynamos made wholesale changes by introducing eight fresh players just five minutes after the restart.
This was the first competitive match for the Glamour Boys and their coach, Paulo Jorge Silva, also did a great deal of experimenting by featuring a total 21 players in the match.
Goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva, who was on the bench, Ocean Mushure, Rodreck Mutuma and Takesure Chinyama were the notable omissions from the team.
DeMbare gave the platform to most of their newcomers who included goalkeeper Ashley Rayners, Liberty Chakoroma and Valentine Ndaba in the starting line-up. Youngsters Peace Makaha and goalscorer Madhiri also made appearances in the second half.
DeMbare had better scoring opportunities in the first half with Masimba Mambare, Brett Amidu and Godknows Murwira forcing some good saves from the visitors’ goalkeeper Monga Ndale.
They got their first goal when Carlos Rusere sent a good cross from the left channel and defender Kalonda pushed the ball into his own nets under challenge from Madhiri in the 52nd minute.
DeMbare then got a penalty in the 89th minute when a Kabwe Warriors defender blocked the ball with his hand from a free-kick taken by Farai Mupasiri just outside the box following a foul on Madhiri.
Dynamos coach Silva gave the order to let the youngster take the spot-kick and Madhiri made no mistake.
Silva said he was happy with the positive result, although he felt he still has much work to do before the start of the season.
“I liked the match. It was a training match for us and like I said before it’s important that the players get such opportunities. But I believe we have got to improve every time. What we did today is only a bit of what we can do, but we can play 10 times better,” said Silva.
“I changed eight players because I want a team that is very competitive. I want 25 players who are ready to play at every moment. Otherwise I am super happy with the boys because we have only been training two weeks. It’s a good start for the boys and the fans but for me I know I have a lot of work to do,” said Silva.
Kabwe Warriors, who are coached by former Highlanders Egyptian mentor Mohamed Fathi, are also preparing for the new season in Zambia.
They have just regained their status in the Zambian Premiership after winning the second tier league and Fathi said they are aiming to win the championship.
They will play CAPS United tomorrow at the National Sports Stadium in their second tour match.
“It was a good game and it was a good experience for our team. Our defender made a mistake when he scored an own goal and I also thought Dynamos were very lucky with the penalty. I am not an expert in officiating but, anyway, I wish good luck to Dynamos this season.
“We are happy to be in Zimbabwe and we are going ahead with preparations to win our league in Zambia. We will play CAPS United on Tuesday and I think we will be stronger because we are used to grass field and not artificial. But at least we tried our best on artificial turf,” said Fathi.
Dynamos — A. Rayners (L. Majadire, 83rd minute), G. Murwira (P. Makaha, 50 min), K. Nyakasaka (O. Mwerahari, 61st minute), L. Chakoroma (J. Dzingai, 50th minute), A. Mbara (S. Linyama, 50th minute), S. Alimenda (T. Chipunza, 50th minute), W. Mukanga (D. Mukandi, 50th minute), M. Mambare (M. Madhiri, 50th minute), V. Ndaba (C. Rusere, 50th minute), B. Amidu (F. Mupasiri, 50th minute), R. Kawondera.
Kabwe Warriors — M. Ndale, D. Ngwenya (M. Chilimba, 61st minute), P. Mubanga (P. Zulu, 71st minute), S. Sakal, M. Kalonda, M. Daka (P. Kasunga, 73rd minute), P. Simpemba (G. Ngwenya, 51st minute), S. Jere, A. Tembo (A. Amuri, 62nd minute; J. Mbewe, 62nd minute), L. Kafwaya, M. Nsafwa (J. Phiri, 68th minute)