HARARE – Newly crowned Castle Premiership champions Dynamos had a difficult start to the year 2013 football season.
Calisto Pasuwa’s men had just one win after the opening seven league games as they wobbled in their title defence.
TURNING POINT: Dynamos earned a valuable point when they held Chicken Inn to a 2-2 draw in the penultimate game of the 2013 Castle Premiership season earlier this month. Picture: Auntony Zinyange.
After such a terrible start to the season, it was impossible to picture the Glamour Boys going on to win an unprecedented 20th Zimbabwean championship at the end of the season.
Despite that poor start, Dynamos have over the years shown that they are made of much sterner stuff and you can only rule them out for honours at your own peril.
Since 2007, Dynamos have finished the season in first or second place on the log and have won four league titles during that period.
Of their current squad, Murape Murape now has five league medals and he is followed by Tawanda Muparati, Thomas Magorimbo, Augastine Mbara, Devon Chafa, Gift Bello and Milton Makopa, who all have three league titles.
To have such experienced campaigners amongst their squad gives DeMbare an aura of invincibility when it comes to the marathon of the league.
During the course of the season, Dynamos particularly proved their mantle in four games, and those results were instrumental in their league triumph.
The first game was the 1-1 draw against Highlanders at Rufaro Stadium on April 21 when Partson Jaure scored a contentious late equaliser.
Although most of the post-match attention focused on the conduct of referee Norman Matemera in the end, no one really picked the significance of that point.
Bosso had surged ahead just after the break through Njabulo Ncube, but DeMbare huffed and puffed for the remainder of the second half.
Even when they were staring defeat, the Harare giants never gave up hope and in the end they were rewarded for their efforts.
DeMbare were team in crisis at that stage after they were knocked out of the African Champions League by Tunisian club CA Bizertin and were struggling in the league, but it all changed after that draw with Bosso.
If you ask the DeMbare players they will tell you that that draw against Bosso felt more like a win, and after they went on an eight-match unbeaten run, picking up 20 points.
Another significant three points DeMbare picked were in the reverse fixture against Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium at the end of late month.
DeMbare emerged from Bulawayo with 1-0 win courtesy of Ocean Mushure’s 87th minute penalty.
The Harare giants shot to the top of the table after that win and Highlanders had only themselves to blame after failing to beat George Chigova despite creating a barrage of chances.
Dynamos showed great determination to absorb all that Bosso pressure before completing a smash and grab victory in the dying stages of the match.
After that win in Bulawayo, Dynamos travelled to Chiredzi to face a stubborn and experienced Triangle side that had generally done well at home in their maiden season in the top flight league.
In the run-up to the match, Triangle coach Gishon Ntini had openly declared war on both Dynamos and Highlanders.
True to his word, the sugar cane growers gave Dynamos a scare and in the end the Harare giants had Simba Sithole to thank after he grabbed an 85th minute equaliser to salvage a 2-2 at Gibbo Stadium.
Once again, Dynamos had showed their character by going to a difficult venue and come out with a valuable point.
The Glamour Boys’ resolved was also tested two weeks later when they had to travel to Bulawayo to face the highflying Chicken Inn.
This is a team they have failed to beat in Bulawayo since they were promoted into the top flight in 2011.
Initially, the DeMbare players’ concentration was distracted by their officials, who launched a late appeal against referee Hardly Ndazi, who had been appointed to handle the match.
Chicken Inn raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 13 minutes as the Gamecocks threatened to steamroll Dynamos.
The Glamour Boys, however, rallied from behind to force a 2-2 draw with goals from Tawanda Muparati and Cliff Sekete.
With a bit of luck they could have even gone on to win the match but in the end that point proved vital.