BULAWAYO – Defending champions Dynamos’ quest for a third consecutive Castle Premiership title suffered a knock on Saturday after they came unstuck against a determined How Mine at Luveve Stadium.
Dynamos could have assumed the leadership of the title race had they managed to overcome the league debutants and taken their points tally to 32 points.
The Glamour Boys failed to overturn a first half setback when How Mine striker Simba Sithole thrust the hosts ahead on 21 minutes off a Timothy January assist.
Concerted efforts to get on the score sheet drew a blank as the visitors failed to find the net despite dominating play especially in the second half and they lost 1-0 to the gold miners.
This result infuriated the Glamour Boys’ head coach Calisto Pasuwa and he left the ground without granting the media a post match interview.
Pasuwa’s mention of the match officials his refusal to talk to the media pointed to dissatisfaction with the way referee Hardly Ndazi and his assistants Salani Ncube and Brilliant Sibanda had handled the match.
The Dynamos coach’s gripe may have arisen from the failure by Ndazi to book a number of How Mine players who were guilty of some wild lunges in the first half of the game.
But the DeMbare technical team should also take the blame for failing to quickly adjust their game plan according to the turn of events at Luveve.
Dynamos right back Morris Kadzola’s overlapping attempts should have been discouraged after it became apparent very early in the game that the defender’s forays up-front were opening a window for Januray to exploit.
The attack that resulted in How Mine’s goal emanated from Kadzola’s flank but the former Chicken Inn and Motor Action player kept venturing forward and was again caught off-position on 50 minutes but January’s shot was saved by Dynamos keeper George Chigova.
How Mine coach Philani Mabhena revealed at the end of the match that their strategy had been to neutralise the Dynamos wing backs and stop them from attacking and the visitors’ failure to restrain Kadzola played right into their hands.
The Dynamos bench also kept Clive Kawinga in the game for too long when it was clear that the striker was not mobile. And by the time Kawinga was substituted for former Hwange striker Francesco Zekumbawira, the hosts had resolved to park a bus in front of their goal.
That strategy could have been breached had Dynamos opened up the game with some wing play and pumped high balls into the How Mine penalty box to take advantage of How Mine keeper Notice Dube’s height disadvantage.
Dube struggled to deal with high crosses all afternoon but Dynamos did not capitalise and kept trying to break through the midfield.
Luck also eluded the defending champions as Augustine Mbara, Tawanda Muparati and Gift Bello had efforts that went agonisingly wide while their best player on view Russell Madamombe was denied by the upright as they searched for the elusive equaliser.
How Mine’s victory on Saturday proved that their 1-0 victory over Highlanders in the first half of the season was no fluke and they may well as turn out to be this season’s giant killers.
The gold miners have assembled a competitive team made up of many Premiership veterans like Hebert Dick, Menard Mupera and Gilbert Banda to mention but a few.
Many more sides will find the Bulawayo side difficult to break down in the second half of the season.