Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
CAPS United ……..……. 0
Dynamos ……….…..….. (0)1
AFTER a week of turbulence in the Dynamos camp, the rookies carried the day for the Glamour Boys as Lloyd Mutasa’s youngsters staged a brave fight to edge CAPS United in the semi-final of the Commander ZNA Charities Cup at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
DeMbare’s 19-year-old midfielder Kudzanai Dhemere scored the solitary goal of the match moments after the restart as Mutasa yesterday reaped the dividends for his faith in young players. As was largely expected, the Harare giants missed most of their key players who embarked on an industrial action in protest over unpaid bonuses and salaries owed from last season.
But amid the turmoil, Mutasa yesterday saw something special in his youngsters. It is always something to savour for the Glamour Boys to win clashes against the Green Machine every time the teams meet and for them to do it with a largely inexperienced side, against an almost full strength CAPS United, was a special feat for Mutasa.
“I am happy for the youngsters. If you look at us we had a number of (senior) players who were out of this game and these youngsters did very well. With everyone in the team I am sure we will be able to be a competitive side. “This wasn’t an easy match. The idea was to tell the youngsters what it means to play CAPS United when you wear that blue jersey and we told them that some great players managed to be recognised after featuring in such derbies.
“You look at the likes of Memory Mucherahowa to mention, but a few. And then we talked about Kudzi Dhemere, who had a great show, that he has to come out of the shell after the youngsters showed great potential last year and he looks to take it up from where he left. I am happy for him,” said Mutasa. Dhemere, who turns 20 in June, was one of the best players on show for DeMbare yesterday.
A product of the Dynamos juniors, Dhemere was last year chosen as the Most Promising Player at Dynamos’ end-of-the-year awards hosted by BancABC. Marshal Machazane and Godfrey Mukambi are the only senior players from last season who featured in the game and managed to hold the team together as twin centrebacks.
Blessing Moyo, who is returning to the side this year, started together with Cleopas Kapupurika and Tawanda Macheke.
Valentine Kadonzo and Romario Matova, who made cameo appearances last season, also got their opportunities in the absence of senior players Ocean Mushure, Obey Mwerahari, Joel Epoupa, Quality Kangadze, Valentine Ndaba, Emmanuel Mandiranga and Peace Makaha, who is also nursing an ankle injury.
The Green Machine had the better of the exchanges and they came back for the second half with a bit of urgency in their play.
However, it was Dynamos who managed to get the goal following a move conducted by Kapupurika on the left side after getting the better of veteran Method Mwanjali.
There was nothing goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba could do after Dhemere controlled the ball well before picking his spot from inside the box on the hour mark to put DeMbare ahead against the run of play. CAPS United, though, looked solid with Hardlife Zvirekwi, Joel Ngodzo, John Zhuwawu and Crispen Machisi in control going forward for most of the game.
The Green Machine defence, marshalled by veterans Mwanjali, Justice Jangano, Stephen Makatuka and Kudzanayi Nyamupfukudza, looked unperturbed except for that moment when DeMbare got their goal. CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe also gave his new signings Praise Tonha, Dominic Mukandi, Brian Muzondiwa and the returning midfielder Oscar Machapa a run.
But the Dynamos rookies held on until the final whistle to win the match. “If anything, I was very impressed by the commitment shown by the boys and our organisation especially in the second half,’’ said Chitembwe.
“The first half did not go the way we had anticipated, but all the same I think it was expected since it was our first training game this year.
“And as far as I am concerned we are ahead of schedule. Usually it takes a team six weeks to be ready and considering what I saw today I think we are we are doing well. We just need to improve on some certain important aspects of the game. Our transition from defending to attacking was not the best and also vice-versa, but in second half there was some improvements and basing on that and with a little bit of time working on some key areas of our game, I am sure we stand a very good chance to be a very formidable team this season.
“Yeah, we have what it takes to be competitive this season,” said Chitembwe. Dynamos will play the winner between Chicken Inn and Highlanders, whose game in the other semi-final was abandoned at Barbourfields because of heavy rains which rendered the pitch unplayable.
The teams had only played 55 minutes with Chicken Inn leading 1-0 courtesy of Clemence Matawu’s early strike. However, the organisers have arranged that the match be continued this morning. Chicken Inn will also continue with ten men after Divine Lunga received a straight red card in the 29th minute.
CAPS United: P. Chigumba, K. Nyamupfukudza, J. Jangano, M. Mwanjale, S. Makatuka, C. Kamhapa, D. Mukandi (P. Tonha, 46th min), H. Zvirekwi, J. Ngodzo (B. Muzondiwa, 66th min), J. Zhuwawu, C. Machisi (O. Machapa, 32nd min)
Dynamos: B. Mwandimutsira, B. Moyo, R. matova, M. Machazane, G. Mukambi, J. Marufu, K. Dhemere, T. Makuvatsine (T. Muringani, (73rd min), V. Kadonzvo, C. Kapupurika (P. Mutasa, 70th min), T. Macheke