Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2) 3
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . .(1) 2
CHAMPIONS Dynamos needed something of a stroke of luck yesterday and a questionable refereeing decision to walk away with maximum points when they edged bitter rivals Highlanders in one of the closest Castle Lager Premiership encounters between the two giants at Rufaro in recent years.
DeMbare have not lost a league match to their traditional rivals in almost nine years but it looked Highlanders were determined to turn the tables with a brilliant fight especially in the second half where they also had what appeared to be a genuine goal disallowed for offside.
Bosso were on the scoresheet as early as the seventh minute when double scorer Knox Mutizwa converted from the spot before DeMbare bounced back into the game through their diminutive midfield magician Ronald Chitiyo, who hit back twice inside the first half to give the hosts the upper hand at the interval.
But then Mutizwa, who had a good afternoon in the black and white strip, brought the teams level again when he completed his brace with a headed effort just after the half-time break.
The goal was the catalyst Highlanders needed following a subdued performance in the first half.
However, Qadr Amini scored the decisive goal for Dynamos with 15 minutes of regulation time remaining when he capitalised on Bosso defenders’ failure to read well a free-kick from Ocean Mushure.
For Highlanders, the defeat left their faithful with a bitter taste in the mouth after Edmore Muzanenhamo’s 80th minute strike was ruled out for offside, although television replays showed otherwise.
They had dominated much of the play especially in the second half.
The disallowed goal was probably one of the major talking points yesterday but Bosso coach Bongani Mafu refused to dwell much on that incident.
Mafu said his side played well and deserved to walk away victorious.
“It’s a game that we should have won. We played very well but if you play well and you don’t win that’s not good enough. Our team needs a win rather than just a show, so we need to finish off games,” said Mafu.
“We started well and we should have shut that and stay there but we didn’t.
“So we played well but we lost the game. That’s not nice to our supporters, it’s not nice to ourselves. The brand rests on wins not on just good shows.”
His opposite number David Mandigora was happy with the win, which came as a big relief to the Harare giants.
DeMbare had drawn their last three matches before the Premiership break and pressure was beginning to mount in the championship race.
They started on the down side yesterday when skipper Augustine Mbara fouled Obadiah Tarumbwa inside the box and conceded a penalty.
Mutizwa took the responsibility and sent goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva the wrong way.
Dynamos equalised with just 12 minutes of first half football played when he latched on to a loose ball inside the Highlanders box and beat Ariel Sibanda with a quick left footer.
Chitiyo was back to haunt Bosso when he drilled the ball home from close range after Masimba Mambare’s initial effort was blocked by goalkeeper Sibanda.
Highlanders appeared to buckle under the pressure and frustration was beginning to get hold of their supporters and on more than two occasions the rowdy among them vented their anger by throwing missiles onto the pitch.
But barely a minute after the breather, Bosso won a free-kick on the left channel when Obey Mwerahari, who struggled with his game yesterday, was guilty of felling his opponent. DeMbare defenders were caught flat-footed as Mutizwa headed home a well taken free-kick by Muzanenhamo.
It was Highlanders all over as they passed the ball well and showed much intent compared to their hosts. But DeMbare were also to benefit from a set piece when Amini made no mistake unmarked at the back post after a free-kick from Mushure had evaded everyone inside the box.
The win was crucial for Dynamos coach David Mandigora who managed to keep his side in the race as they maintained third position on the log standings with 27 points.
“I’m happy we got the three points and it was a good show by the boys. After going down early we managed to come back into the game and took the lead. But the only thing that disappointed me was conceding the second goal just after half time.
“Highlanders played very well especially in the second half and I think it was a very good game. But I would like to thank our supporters. They were our 12th player, they always encouraged the players.
“From now on we have to fight on. I think this win is good for our confidence going into the next game,” said Mandigora.
Dynamos: T. Mukuruva, O. Mwerahari, O. Mushure, A. Mbara, E. Muroiwa, S. Alimeda, G. Murwira, M. Mambare (K. Bulaji, 66th minute), R. Chitiyo, Q. Amini (B. Moyo, 87th minute), D. Chungwa (F. Mupasiri, 72nd minute)
Highlanders: A. Sibanda, W. Chingodza, B. Kangwa, E. Mudzingwa, H. Moyo, S. Munawa (N. Masuku, 46th minute), K. Nadolo, R. Kutsanzira (S. Sithole, 88th minute), E. Muzanenhamo,K. Mutizwa, O. Tarumbwa