December 4, 2023

Dynamos roar to Chibuku glory

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Tadious Manyepo

DYNAMOS bookmarked a redemption season with a trophy on the final day when they dismantled Ngezi Platinum Stars in the Chibuku Super Cup final at Baobab yesterday (Sunday).

It is a cup tournament Dynamos had failed to win since its inception, missing out since 2014 and the closest being 2015 when they lost in the final against Harare City.

Second half goals by the league’s Most Promising Player Elton Chikona and substitute Emmanuel Paga gave the Glamour Boys their first cup in nine years.

And the giants thoroughly deserved it after finishing third in the league marathon that was eventually won by the Mhondoro miners.

And the Dynamos bosses look set to confirm the appointment of youthful gaffer Genesis Mangombe, who has been coaching in an acting capacity, on a permanent basis after achieving a feat no one else has attained before.

Yesterday’s defeat also meant that the home team, who last won this trophy in 2016 lost their third final in the same competition in four years. They were 0-1 losers to Highlanders in 2019 and also lost on penalties to FC Platinum in 2021. With yesterday’s game coming on their own turf where they dominated FC Platinum for their 2016 crown, the miners were expected to finally come good. But it wasn’t to be.

It was a game befitting a final of the biggest knock-out tournament on land that also enjoyed so much hype in its build-up.

Even Dynamos board chairperson Bernard Marriot-Lusengo made the 150km journey to Mhondoro to witness his team’s finest hour in a year they are celebrating their 60th anniversary.

Like a team desperate to end the season with something under their belts and cheer the 60th anniversary celebrations, Dynamos showed intent right from the first whistle, probing the Ngezi Platinum rearguard of Gareth Madhake, Polite Moyo and Kudzai Chigwida.

But it was Ngezi Platinum Stars, who almost broke the ice much against the run of play with Bruno Mtigo’s snap shot beating goalkeeper Prince Tafiremutsa but not the cross-bar six minutes into the game.

Soccer Star of the Year winner Qadr Amini nearly made amends two minutes but he rifled his shot over Tafiremutsa’s goal. With play mostly concentrated in midfield where Donald Mudadi was especially impressive for Dynamos, scoring chances were few and far between in the first half but Chikona almost got DeMbare going at the stroke of half-time. His powerful shot was tipped over for a corner by Chang Mariyoni, who kept the Ngezi Platinum goal.

Tinotenda Murasiranwa came closer at the other end with literally the last kick of the half. Mangombe and his counterpart Takesure Chiragwi shuffled their cards at the resumption as they both searched for the opener.

The much balanced affair continued to be a game of missed chances until Chikona tapped home a blocked shot by Chigwida 18 minutes before time. Naturally, Ngezi Platinum Stars threw more bodies in attack as they sought to draw level.

They left more gaps at the back and right at the death, Paga profited from a defensive mix-up to double the advantage and effectively seal the crown. Mangombe was happy after capturing his first trophy as a coach.

“I am happy with this victory. We worked very hard for this,” said Mangombe.

“The game was very tough. But we tried to keep the ball more and create the most chances. I am glad we managed to win”.

His opposite number Chiragwi was disappointed after failing to win a historic double.

No team has managed to win a league and a Chibuku Super Cup double.

And after winning the league title for the first time this season, Ngezi Platinum were looking to wrap the double and underline their dominance this season.

“It was a tough game. They took their chances and we didn’t take ours. That was the difference,” said Chiragwi. “We were looking to winning the double but this is what football is all about”.For the win, Dynamos took home US$75 000 while the miners got US$50 000 for being the runners-up. Dynamos will represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup while Ngezi Platinum will play in the CAF Champions League.

 

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