Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
Dynamos ……… (1) 1
Bulawayo City …0) 2
BULAWAYO City’s veteran defender Zephaniah Ngodzo ended Dynamos’ campaign in the Chibuku Super Cup when he riffled home a brilliant free-kick as the minnows came from a goal down to claim an unlikely victory in a first round soccer match at Rufaro yesterday.
The result rubbed salt into Dynamos’ miserable run in the tournament as the Glamour Boys suffered a third first-round disappointment in the last four editions of the revamped tournament.
Ngodzo decided the match with just over a quarter of an hour remaining to cap the final moments of this tense second half affair after Sipho Ndlovu had cancelled out Cameroonian Christian Epoupa’s 15th minute goal.
DeMbare’s loss was just one of the many upsets that the tournament experienced at the first hurdle this year after six of the eight seeded teams bite the dust during the weekend.
Fellow giants Highlanders, Triangle, ZPC Kariba, 2014 winners FC Platinum and defending champions Ngezi Platinum Stars were also in mourning.
But for Dynamos, they have now failed to go past the first round stage for the second year running and their coach Lloyd Mutasa admitted that they were not good enough yesterday after giving away their first half advantage.
“I think we lost it. We scored (first) but we could not hang on to the lead. They scored two goals that we could have avoided but we win and lose as a team. Tough luck to us and we have to look elsewhere.
“As an institution we would like to do well in every competition that we play but such is football. We are out of it, just like we did last year. We cannot reverse the situation but we have to look forward to what we have control over,” said Mutasa.
The league’s top scorer Epoupa had put DeMbare in the driving seat when he latched on to a spill by the Bulawayo City goalkeeper Ndodana Sibanda who had troubles with a rising shot from Masimba Mambare.
The Cameroonian, who has developed a knack of scoring regularly for the Glamour Boys, was at the right place when he raced into the box following a sweeping move in midfield involving Gift Saunyama.
But then the minnows Bulawayo City refused to be sitting ducks despite going down early. They came near when Dynamos goalkeeper Tonderayi Mateyaunga made a horrendous blunder, leaving his area in the 33rd minute for a high ball which he could not handle cleanly, presenting Newman Sianchali with a good chance.
The lanky Bulawayo City forward, however, could count himself unlucky after his goal-bound shot was blocked out for a corner by the DeMbare defenders.
Amakhosi returned from the breather a bit fired up with dreadlocked midfielder Rainsome Pavari dominating the midfield battles while Ishmael Wadi, who was involved in both of their goals, gave defenders Lincolin Zvasiya and Marshal Machazane some torrid moments.
Wadi had the whole stadium full of admiration when he burst through the middle with some brilliant dribbling skills but somehow could not find his feet when coming face-to-face with the keeper. But the ball rolled into Ndlovu’s path and the midfielder did not make a mistake with a low shot into an empty goal for the equaliser.
Moments later, Wadi was back with the same trick but this time was hacked down just as he made his way into the box and the referee Norman Matemera was for a moment undecided whether to give a penalty or a free-kick.
Bulawayo City coach Mandla Mpofu contended that they should get a penalty but the referee settled for the latter just inside of the penalty arc.
Ngodzo stepped up to take the responsibility and the veteran did not disappoint with a rocket that flew past the wall and snuggled into the top corner of the nets, far to the left of goalkeeper Mateyaunga who could not do much to stop the ball.
“Overall we are happy that we have managed to come through the first stage. But obviously coming into this match no one had given us a chance to beat Dynamos but during the week I reminded the boys that we gave them a scare when they beat us 4-3 in the league and we are coming into this cup wanting to play.
“But I think our focus and our objective is to make sure that we stay in the league. We still have plenty of games to play, we want more points.
“As much as we want to win the Chibuku Cup but then getting relegated, it doesn’t make sense. I think we didn’t play some good football in the first half. Dynamos were in control.
“We conceded, maybe, something that Dynamos did not work for. A stupid back pass, but we came back a different team in the second half,” said Mpofu.