Senior Sports Reporter
Ngezi Platinum Stars…. (0) 1
DYNAMOS kept their hopes of winning the league title alive with a hard-fought victory over table toppers, Ngezi Platinum Stars yesterday.
DeMbare made a few changes to their line-up, including starting rookie forward, Elton Chikona, and winger Keith Madera.
Chikona scored the first goal right before half-time, and Madera doubled the lead with a header in the 49th minute.
Ngezi Platinum fought back with a goal from Takunda Benhura, but Dynamos held on for the win.
Dynamos’ star midfielder, Donald Mudadi, was shown a second yellow card for delaying his departure from the field after he was substituted late on, as DeMbare tried to frustrate their opponents with a raft of tricks to slow down the game.
With other championship rivals losing or drawing, Dynamos are now back in the title race, trailing Ngezi Platinum by eight points.
FC Platinum lost 1-2 to relegation fighters Black Rhinos at Mandava, while Highlanders drew 1-1 at new boys Green Fuel.
Ngezi Platinum still lead the race with 54 points, seven adrift of second-placed Highlanders.
Dynamos needed the win more and coach, Genesis Mangombe, gave starting berths to rookie forward Chikona and winger Madera, who made a return to the line-up.
After a period of sizing up each other, Dynamos had the first shot at goal, with a quarter of an hour played, when Madera found pockets of space on the right and unleashed a stinging shot towards goal.
The visitors’ goalkeeper Nelson Chadya spilled the shot, but Chikona was slow to react and the goalkeeper safely recovered.
Chikona again found himself in a crowded box after 27 minutes, but Ngezi Platinum made a double block to keep the scores blank.
The youngster appeared to be finding himself in the right positions most of the time, but was finding no clear-cut chances.
Vice captain Emmanuel Jalai was also guilty of indecision after he strayed into the box and made a mess of the Glamour Boys’ attack shortly before the half time whistle.
But Chikona ensured the Harare giants ended the stanza in front when he tapped the ball into the back of the nets following a brilliant cut back by right winger Madera on the stroke of half time.
Chadya demonstrated the top notch goalkeeper he is when he went airborne to tip over a long range shot from Mudadi after the restart.
But he was given no chance by a header from Madera as DeMbare doubled their lead in the 49th minute.
The Glamour Boys won a freekick on the right side and Mudadi flighted in a low ball that was connected by the winger into the near post.
Ngezi Platinum continued to push forward as DeMbare tried by all means to slow down the game and frustrate the log leaders.
The supply from the ball boys also dried up, with most of the balls disappearing, and the referee took up the matter with the DeMbare bench.
DeMbare coach Mangombe was booked in the 54th minute for remonstrating with the referee.
Soon after, Ngezi substitute Banhura reduced the arears when he buried a cross from fellow second half substitute Tapiwa Mandinyenya in the 58th minute.