Harare City thrash Border Strikers
Harare City 4 -0 Border Strikers VETERAN coach Luke Masomere received a baptism of fire on his return into the trenches of coaching in the domestic Premiership after his Border Strikers side slumped to a 0-4 defeat at the hands of Chibuku Super Cup holders Harare City at Rufaro yesterday as the country’s premier knockout football tournament got underway. Masomere, a league championship winner with Amazulu who also won the BancABC Sup8r Cup, was back on the bench yesterday after a lengthy sabbatical and was powerless to prevent his men from crashing to a big defeat as Chunga’s side made it clear they intend to defend their silverware. The coach even had to pull out his goalkeeper, as he tried to limit the damage, and he returned to Beitbridge f u l ly aware he faces Mission Impossible in his bid to save Border Strikers from sinking into Division One which was the mandate he was given when he was hired this week.
“The team did not play well I just had training with them on Wednesday and by yesterday Thursday we were on the road so it was a second practice session,” said Masomere.
“We had a very bad game in the second half as the boys showed signs of tiredness and the fitness levels are not encouraging at all.
“We will work hard in preparation for the remaining seven games.”
Chunga’s team got their goals from Jerry Chipangura in the 24th minute, Ronald Chitiyo 54th minute, Edwin Madhanhanga on the hour mark and the consistent William Manondo in the 71st minute.
“We played well and it was a good game which we dominated,” said Chunga.
“We had the opportunity to try some young players after we took a comfortable lead although they could not get on the scoresheet. We now look forward to the next draw.”
While Chunga was all smiles yesterday, the focus now shifts to another Dynamos son with all eyes on Lloyd Mutasa after a tough week in his Glamour Boys nursed the wounds of a demoralising defeat in Bulawayo where Highlanders struck twice, in quick succession, to beat their biggest rivals 2-1.
Warriors’ goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva has, somehow, escaped criticism all week after a shocker gifted Bosso the equaliser with the diminutive goalminder failing to deal with a ball swung in from a corner while veteran marksman Ralph Matema was given the freedom of Mbare to head home, unmarked, the killer goal.
The Glamour Boys and now are under pressure to atone for the poor outing by going all the way and win the $500 000 tournament.
DeMbare are virtually out of the running for the Castle Lager Premiership title and the Chibuku Cup represents their only hope for silverware this year.
But the dream could be spoiled when they host How Mine at Rufaro tomorrow.
Dynamos could not have forgotten how they were bundled out of the 2013 Mbada Diamonds Cup by Chikurupati who went on to reach the finals after eliminating Caps United in the semi-finals.
Skipper Tapiwa Khumbuyani yesterday said they will not leave anything to chance.
“Of course we played draws in the league this year but this is a different game. It’s a Cup game and there has to be a winner at the end of the day even if we don’t score in regulation time.
“Yeah, Dynamos may not be playing well but remember Dynamos are Dynamos. You can’t really afford to sit back and relax when you have a game against them no matter what they are going through.
“Dynamos can do anything on any day, they have to be taken seriously no matter what they are going through. They are a dangerous team. Every team wants to win the tournament but for us we have to concentrate on the first game first. At the moment, we are looking at this game. We will then see what happens afterwards.
“If you want to be the best you will have to beat the best. So we don’t have any problem being drawn against Dynamos in the first round. It actually spurs us on and the important thing is to concentrate throughout. We will need to focus, even if the game goes to the penalties,” said Khumbuyani.
Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro yesterday said they have a clean bill of health.
“As far as I know there are no injuries in our team. We trained well this week and everyone is ready to go. In fact we are really looking forward to winning this match because our goal is to win this tournament and play in Africa.
“So we will put in everything. There is usually so much at stake in cup games. I am sure we will bounce back, goals will come this time around,” said Chihoro.
Speculation has been rife in Harare that, should coach Lloyd Mutasa fail to win this game, he could be fired from his job although some of those who have been linked with the post have been wayward bets.
To his credit, Mutasa remains focused on his job and some even feel for him given that his defence was at fault in the City of Kings although others feel that his reading of the game, which saw his substitutes fail to fire, left a lot to be desired.
Others have also chosen to be superstitious saying that, whenever Masimba Mambare scores, no one in the DeMbare shirt scores, even when they get very good chances, although that theory looks way off the mark.