Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS coach Tonderai Ndiraya milked the occasion as the Glamour Boys rode on Evans Katema’s solitary goal to beat traditional rivals Highlanders in the Anti-Sanctions Challenge Cup match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday. Bosso had beaten Dynamos three times this year in different competitions.
But the Bulawayo giants, with a diabolical fixture congestion which saw them travel to Kariba for a midweek league match, before they face FC Platinum in a Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final tomorrow, turned to their youth brigade.
DeMbare fielded some of their regulars, including skipper Godfrey Mukambi and strike Katema, and found a way to win a tight encounter. Ndiraya said what mattered was that they won the game.
“What is important is that we have won. How we have done that it doesn’t matter,’’ he said. ‘‘But I think what’s way important than just the game is why we are here. I think we all know what we are here for. The significance of the event carries the day more than anything else. But, in terms of performance, I think it has taken a long time before we broke the jinx.
“Of course, it had to be broken on this occasion and that makes it sweeter. From a technical point, we had to give some of our fringe players a run and to mix, of course, with the next match in mind. I am quite happy with the performance, although, I would have wanted more. What was important was the win so that we bring back the confidence not just to the players but the team as a whole.’’
Ndiraya then saluted his opponents. “I must also salute Highlanders. I think they have a vibrant junior policy,’’ he said.
‘‘We all saw what their youngsters did today against a relatively experienced side of ours. We also had quite a number of young players in our squad but I think Highlanders are in the right direction.
‘‘I want to give them all the respect for the youngsters they brought here. They put up a good show and in some instances we were actually on the back foot. That really shows they have a strong team and a strong junior policy.’’
Katema headed Dynamos into the lead from a free kick by Jarrison Selemani 21 minutes into the game. It proved to the only goal of the match.
Dynamos also made significant changes to their starting line-up with Ndiraya giving most of his players like Walter Sande, Sean Gona, Edgar Mhungu, Kudzanayi Dhemere and Vialli Tadzoka a run.
Highlanders manager Pieter Hendrik de Jongh did not travel for yesterday’s match, leaving the team’s responsibility in the hands of his assistant Bekithemba Ndlovu.
As was expected Dynamos enjoyed most of the exchanges and they surged ahead in the 21st minute when Katema planted a header from a free-kick taken on the right flank by Jarrison.
Roving wingback Emmanuel Jalaui and substitute Kudzanayi Dhemere missed opportunities to extend the Glamour Boys’ lead. Despite not creating some clear-cut scoring opportunities the Bosso youngsters, who included the likes of Nkosana Ndlovu, Russel Chifura, Dominic Jaricha, Cardwell Gawaza and Darlington Mukuli, impressed.
“Disappointed about losing but happy again with the show by the young boys. They showed character, they showed a big heart and fighting spirit,’’ said Ndlovu.
“I think we have a strong Highlanders for the future which has the capacity to go all the way and compete for four championships in a row, like we did when I was still playing in the early 2000s.’’
Dynamos: M. Diya, E. Jalai, T. Muringani, M. Mawadza, G. Mukambi, W. Sande, E. Mhungu (J. Ngahan, 70th min), R. Sackey (K. Dhemere, 32nd min), E. Katema (V. Tadzoka, 84th min), J. Selemani, S. Gona.
Highlanders: R. Muza, N Ndlovu, A. Faira, C. Gawaza, T. Ndlovu, D. Mukuli, D. Fosho (D. Musendami, 68th min), D. Jaricha (B. Makopa, 68th minute), R. Chifura, P. Nyirenda (D. Dlodlo, 64th minute), G. Makaruse.