Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
GIFT Saunyama showed his other side on Sunday when he played probably his best game for Dynamos this season after being thrust in an unfamiliar makeshift central defensive role in a league match against Black Rhinos.
The Glamour Boys faced a crisis after most of their defensive players were not available for selection at the weekend because of different reasons, forcing interim coach Lloyd Chigowe to tinker around with the available resources.
DeMbare missed the services of Jimmy Tigere, Phakamani Dube, Ocean Mushure, Obey Mwerahari, Godfrey Mukambi and James Marufu.
And Saunyama, who is widely known to play in the midfield department, was paired with skipper Marshal Machazane in the heart of the defence while 19-year old rookie Tatenda Muringani was given a rare start at right back.
Peace Makaha was moved to the left back in this virtually untested set up against the unpredictable army side.
But Saunyama calmed the supporters’ fears with a polished performance while Muringani had to overcome early nerves and claim his place.
Calm and composed, Saunyama won the DeMbare supporters’ applause as he barely put his foot wrong throughout the encounter.
“I thought the makeshift defence did very well. I would not like to take anything away because Rhinos, for example, got their only goal from a set piece.
“They could not penetrate that defence. They did not get any clear cut chances at all. It means the makeshift can always work again on another day,” said Chigowe.
“Coming into this game, we had a depleted squad and had to make do by introducing a youngster like Tatenda Muringani who had not tasted Premiership football over the past two seasons, and yet we managed to play against a tricky Black Rhinos side.
“They are not pushovers, they have been doing very well. I think if we work well with these boys and get our combinations right we can match anyone in the league.”
Dynamos won the match 2-1 but the victory was engulfed in controversy after Machazane had appeared to use his hands to get the winning goal from a corner in added time. Machazane’s goal was to be the last piece of action on the afternoon.
Valentine Kadonzvo gave Dynamos the lead midway through the first half but the Glamour Boys almost blew it when they conceded from a free-kick with under 10 minutes remaining.
Tomorrow: Harare City v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Rufaro), FC Platinum v Chicken Inn (Mandava), Bulawayo Chiefs v Shabanie Mine (Luveve), CAPS United v Yadah (NSS), Triangle United v Mutare City Rovers (Gibbo)
Thursday: Herentals v Dynamos (Rufaro), Black Rhinos v Nichrut (NSS), Chapungu v Highlanders (Ascot), Bulawayo City v ZPC Kariba (Barbourfields).