MANGWIRO’S CANDID TALK . . . This DeMbare team is a circus

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
Dynamos ……… (1) 1

Triangle……….. (2) 2

TRIANGLE coach Taurayi Mangwiro turned emotional yesterday, had an angry outburst at Rufaro following the violent incidents that left an assistant referee injured at their Chibuku semi-final win over giants Dynamos.

The Sugar Sugar Boys powered their way into a date against holders Harare City for the November 10 final through well-deserved goals from defender Kudzai Chigwida and their most trusted forward Lameck Nhamo early in the first half.

DeMbare managed to reduce the arrears just before half-time with a powerful header by their captain, Marshal Machazane, but it was not enough to turn the tide against the tactically and technically superior visitors.

Triangle controlled all aspects of the game and gave Dynamos, who had been having a fine run in their fight against relegation under Lloyd Chigowe and Murape Murape, a timely reminder of how poor this Glamour Boys team has been this season.

But the match yesterday was nearly abandoned after assistant referee Salani Ncube was injured on his leg by a missile thrown in his direction by rowdy elements among the DeMbare fans who disrupted the match at every turn yesterday. There was a 13-minute stoppage late in the second half when Ncube went down injured.

He was stretchered off the pitch and was replaced by fourth official Pilani Ncube amid protests from Triangle coach Mangwiro who felt it was no longer safe to continue with the game.

Earlier, the visitors’ goalkeeper, Ronald Mudimu, had survived an avalanche of missiles while Nhamo was also targeted as he lay on the turf injured. And Mangwiro, who turned up for the post-match press conference highly emotional, slammed the antics by the Dynamos fans and also branded the current crop of DeMbare team a “circus” that lacks talent.

“At some stage I thought it was no longer safe for my players to continue after what you saw happening. I even did not see the goal that we conceded because I was busy protesting that Lameck is having missiles being thrown at him when he got injured and that’s the time they are scoring.

“The next thing the goalkeeper is having missiles being thrown at him and, to make matters worse, we have the assistant referee getting injured and it’s there for everyone to see.

“Sometimes we end up endangering the lives of many because of the failure to accept results and today this is the message that we have for Dynamos. It’s a reality check.

“People should not fool themselves into believing that suddenly they are a good team. The games that they have won, they have been winning in Harare against Harare opposition and today we were in there and on the field of play I knew we were technically better than them.

“We proved it to a large extent.

“To be honest with you, the reality on the ground, this is a team driven more by the fans than the talent that they possess. That’s the truth of the matter. “It’s not an insult to my other colleagues, you have seen the good work that they have done but if I look at the players that Dynamos have in their pool and I want to incorporate them into my team at Triangle, maybe one of two will make the starting team. That’s the truth of the matter.

“Sorry, perhaps emotions are getting the better of me. But I don’t mean to insult the institution called Dynamos. This is where we were born and bred and today, even as we work at Triangle, we still have the blue blood in us.

“That’s the truth of the matter but what I am seeing at times, it’s some circus, to be honest with you,” said Mangwiro.

Triangle showed intent from the start and twice forcing the Dynamos goalkeeper Simba Chinani into action within the opening two minutes.

But with only six minutes on the board, the keeper was beaten by the ball after central defender Chigwida gave a slight nod to a free-kick by Russel Madamombe on the right flank.

Then a blunder by Valentine Kadonzvo cost the Glamour Boys as Collins Dhuwa released Nhamo, who forced the ball between the keeper’s legs. Triangle were leading 2-0 after 13 minutes and the result was a true reflection of their dominance.

Chigwida could have added to his tally but he headed wide at the half-hour mark before Nhamo drew a brilliant save from goalkeeper Chinani with a header after Madamombe had delivered another superb free-kick into the box. Triangle skipper Ralph Kawondera bundled home the rebound from close range but the goal was disallowed for offside by referee Norman Matemera.

Machazane’s half-time goal from a corner kick by Kadonzvo gave De- Mbare the impetus in the final 45 minutes but Triangle were always on top of their game. DeMbare coach Lloyd Chigowe said his team was unsettled by the goals they conceded in the opening 15 minutes.

“In the early stages of the game we lost focus, went to sleep and were duly punished. Triangle were hungrier than us and they showed that they wanted it more than us.  I think the stoppages also affected the rhythm of the game but I think Triangle overall deserved to go through,” said Chigowe.

The local football chiefs should, however, be worried by the rinsing incidents of violence especially that targeted match officials.

ZIFA Referees Committee vice-chairman Gladmore Muzambi at the weekend also urged action to protect the lives of match officials, fans and players. Muzambi also hit out at the hooligan elements among the fans who want to take the law into their hands even when it is clear that this bunch do not know how to interpret the ever-changing laws of the game.

“Football stadiums are meant for entertainment but if violence is not curtailed it will not be a surprise if most people stay away from the stadiums which will not be good for football.

“Refereeing is a specialised field and the experts must be allowed to oversee their logical conclusion without having to fear for their lives from hooligans who are ignorant of the ever-changing laws of the game,” said Muzambi.

Despite their clubs being slapped with fines, the hooligan element in some teams’ supporters have continued to cause trouble by trying to take the law into their hands and questioning the decisions of match officials.

DeMbare are now set to be hauled before the PSL disciplinary committee to answer for the conduct of their supporters.

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