Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
Yadah Stars …… 0
IT probably needed the country’s biggest club to stop high-riding newboys Yadah Stars and give them a reality check on life in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
After a storming start to their maiden season in the top-flight life Yadah had looked poised to continue with their fairytale in which they had been unbeaten in five starts until Ocean Mushure’s first half strike ended that streak.
But under-pressure Dynamos had other ideas as they desperately needed to bounce back from their mid-week horror show against How Mine at the same venue.
The manner in which Dynamos fell 1-0 to How Mine was so pathetic, it even left the gold miners’ coach Kelvin Kaindu questioning the character of the team that Lloyd Mutasa is rebuilding.
Mutasa and his men badly needed the win to deflate the pressure that was beginning to suffocate that rebuilding exercise being undertaken by the former DeMbare midfielder.
DeMbare yesterday welcomed back three of their key players who missed the How Mine encounter including skipper Mushure whose 34th minute trademark free-kick deflowered the new church-owned outfit.
Yadah had enjoyed an unbeaten run in their opening five matches of a debut Premiership season and had only conceded once in the 1-1 draw away to Chapungu at Ascot.
But it needed giants of Dynamos’ calibre to remind Jairos Tapera’s men of the kind of tougher that the Premiership is.
Mutasa was delighted by the win especially as DeMbare looked ahead to the Harare Derby coming up next against bitter rivals CAPS United who demonstrated great might when they pumped four goals past hapless Chapungu at the same venue 24 hours earlier.
The Dynamos coach said he was inspired by the way his players responded to the criticism they got after suffering the 0-1 defeat at home against How Mine.
With some of his more experienced players fit again, Mutasa made a few changes to his team yesterday with Mushure, Denver Mukamba and Obey Mwerahari all making a huge impact after reclaiming their places in the starting line-up.
Mushure and Mukamba had been sidelined by injuries while Mwerahari missed out due to a family bereavement.
But it was in the first half that DeMbare really won the game as they had a slight edge over their opponents. Six minutes before Mushure struck, Phakamani Dube’s cross hung in the air for goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube to rush in to punch the ball out of danger as Tawanda Macheke went for a free header.
However, there was nothing that former Warriors goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube could do to stop Mushure’s expertly taken free-kick after DeMbare fullback Phakamani Dube was fouled wide on the right.
The ex-DeMbare and CAPS United goalminder was deceived by the bounce after he anticipated a touch from either Mwerahari or Quality Kangadze who both went for the in-swinger but failed to make contact.
The celebration by the Dynamos players and officials was a classic imitation of the way people tumble in church when the Holy Spirit is “thrown” at them.
“In football two days are never the same. I am sure Jairos knew that one day they would lose and it happened to be today,” said Mutasa.
“We atoned for the loss that we suffered against How Mine. The youngsters were equal to the task. They gave it a fight against an equally good side.”
Yadah goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube produced another top-drawer save when he tipped Tawanda Macheka’s bullet header over the crossbar from a pinpoint cross by the exciting Mukamba on the right flank 10 minutes after the interval.
However, the church men, who were the home team yesterday, turned on the power in the last third of the game, buoyed by a vocal support base.
Mukamba’s substitution however, appeared to be ill-timed as DeMbare’s pressure on the hosts eased up.
On the other hand, Yadah coach Tapera’s decision to bring in experienced Wellington Kamudyariwa and DeMbare junior product Leeroy Murape gave them more power going forward.
DeMbare were literally under siege the last 30 minutes with sensational winger Leeroy Mavhunga causing trouble on the flanks.
Left back Brian Chikwenya nearly caught goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga by surprise with a long range low shot to the near post just after the hour mark.
Yadah could have bagged the equaliser with the last piece of action but their skipper Brian Mapfumo somehow stood in the way when he blocked a goal-bound ball on the line after Moses Demera had headed down Kamudyariwa’s high ball from a short corner.
“Obviously when you play against a team that is chasing more often than not, they come at you and we had wanted to take them on the break. However, it couldn’t happen,” said Mutasa.
Dynamos are still in the bottom half with seven points from five starts while Yadah dropped to sixth with nine points. Yadah coach Tapera said it was disappointing that they lost but drew inspiration from his team’s performances.
“I think we lost and it’s in the name of the game. We have tasted a win, we tasted a draw and obviously today we tasted a defeat. It’s important then for us to say this is the result that we have got and we move forward.
“I think it was a great game for both teams. I can say Dynamos were better the first half but second half we were much better than them. We should have got one or two goals. I think defensively we only conceded a free-kick which I think we could have defended. Unfortunately we got that against us,” said Tapera.