Eddie Chikamhi-Senior Sports Reporter
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Ngezi Platinum Stars . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
THE frustrations in the Dynamos family degenerated to another level yesterday after the Harare giants saw their chances of fighting for this year’s Castle Lager Premiership football title continue to slip between their fingers following a disappointing home defeat to Ngezi Platinum Stars at the National Sports Stadium.
Former Zimbabwe Under-23 forward Delic Murimba delivered the blow barely three minutes into the game with a well-struck effort from a distance, which gave goalkeeper Frank Kuchineyi no chance.
Dynamos could not find a way back in a game they missed a string of scoring opportunities.
A section of disillusioned fans could not stomach the loss, which came a day after their rivals in the race Chicken Inn and runaway leaders FC Platinum had collected maximum points.
Apparently, the Dynamos supporters appeared divided over the coach, Tonderai Ndiraya, with one section singing songs baying for his blood while the other half sang for the team till the last minute of the game.
Dynamos coach Ndiraya had to duck a missile aimed at him by an irate supporter at the end of the game as the anxiety among the fans is slowly turning to open anger. This thugish behaviour by the rowdy fan was uncalled for.
“They are justified,” reckoned Ndiraya had earlier on.
“They wanted the team to push all the way and to push FC Platinum to the limit. A good result today was going to give us a mathematical chance of still being in the game.
“But that couldn’t happen so they are justified. Even if it were me I was going to be angry also. They want their team to win so when they don’t win they get disappointed. So they are as disappointed as we are.”
Dynamos, who fell into third position on the log standings, are now 11 points away from the log leaders FC Platinum, who beat Bulawayo City on Saturday to inch closer to a fourth consecutive league title.
Chicken Inn moved into second place following a 1-0 win over Whawha on Saturday. Dynamos remained on 50 points, one behind Chicken Inn while FC Platinum are now on 61. There are six games remaining in the season.
Dynamos, who had not lost in their previous seven assignments, were punished early on yesterday after their Ghanaian striker Emmanuel Paga missed what looked a simple tap-in scoring opportunity from a low cross by energetic midfielder King Nadolo barely three minutes into the game.
The game quickly swung to the other end where Murimba unleashed a rising shot from outside the box to beat unsuspecting goalkeeper Frank Kuchineyi.
Dynamos, to their credit, continued to create scoring opportunities but Paga miscued a header from a cross by Brendon Mpofu while Alex Orotomal headed over from close range.
The Nigerian was hounded out at the half hour mark, after showing some signs of discomfort.
Murimba could have doubled the visitors’ tally late in the first half but he sent a free header wide off target.
DeMbare skipper Parton Jaure escaped with a yellow card following a high catching former teammate Marvelous Mukumba with a high tackle soon after the restart.
Apart from that Jaure had a decent game partnered by Tinotenda Muringai in the heart of defence as DeMbare missed regular centre back Frank Makarati through suspension.
Ndiraya still felt his charges did not do justice to the game.
“We really wanted to win this game because we were playing at home,” he said.
“We conceded what I can call a very silly goal in the first half and from then on we never really recovered, that is, in the first half.
“We failed to apply basic defending principles; allowed the striker all the space to pick up his spot and hit that shot. So I was very disappointed from that angle.
“But I thought we came back in the second half a bit changed. I thought we had so much control of the ball in the second half. We created chances and again we keep mourning about the chances that we miss in each and every game.”
Dynamos have not beaten Ngezi Platinum Stars in their last seven league meetings dating back to 2017. The Mhondoro side yesterday showed the hunger to win and were duly rewarded.
Ngezi Platinum Stars have been on the mend in the last two months under interim coach Takesure Chiragwi. They have harvested 14 points from a possible 18.
They moved one place up to fifth and it now looks they could still push for a top four finish this season.
“I don’t need to say a lot but I just want to congratulate the boys. Exactly what we are doing at training; they come here playing away and apply the same thing, hence we managed to win the game in the first half when we had a lot of ball retention. We also created chances that we were supposed to score,” said Chiragwi.
Dynamos: F. Kuchineyi, T. Muringai, P. Jaure, B. Mpofu (T. Chidhobha, 83rd min), T. Mavhunga (T. Makanda, 58th min), K. Murera, G.Murwira, J. Makunike, K. Nadolo, A. Orotomal (E. Katema, 30th min), E. Paga (I. Sadiki 58th min)
Ngezi Platinum Stars: N. Chadya, P. Moyo, C. Mavhurume, F. Madhanaga, M. Mukumba, K. Chigwida, V. Kadonzvo (M. Kwinjo, 58th min), T. Matindife (B. Mtigo, 80th min), L. Kashtigu, D. Murimba (A. Makopa, 80th min), T. Mandinyenya (E. Mweha, 60th min)