It was an epic Sunday afternoon at Rufaro stadium as two of the most prominent teams in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League (ZPSL), Dynamos and Highlanders, battled off to secure maximum points.
By Sportbrief Reporter
Alas, the match which was characterized by controversial officiating and violence ended in a stalemate.
Two minutes into the first half Dynamos proved once again that they were in a superb form as Christian Ntouba headed in a goal courtesy of a set piece that was taken by Ocean Mushure.
Mushure could have made it two in the third minute but his shot went wide.
Dynamos was showing so much spiritedness in the first 20 minutes of the game as they were making a snake pit of the Highlanders defense.
Bosso’s first close encounter came through in the 20th minute through a formidable corner kick but Peter Mudhuwa failed to land it at the back of the net.
Highlanders’ set pieces were sensational but they lacked the finishing touches.
Bosso’s Gabriel Nyoni could have levelled matters in the 44th minute but he failed to connect with Godfrey Makaruse’s set piece. Bosso went to the break trailing by one goal.
However, in the second half Highlanders came back with more motive and energy.
It did not take long for their performance to bear fruits as Vincent Phiri levelled matters in the 61st minute courtesy of a set piece.
The effort by Phiri did not go well with Dembare who seemed to have been morally affected by the goal.
The goal was a morale booster for the visiting team, Highlanders, after having spent four consecutive games without finding the back of the nets.
Highlanders came into the battle of Zimbabwe part 2 hard on the heels of a nil loss to Gweru based side, Chapungu.
Prior to that, Erol Akbay’s men have seen their side falling to Zpc Kariba by two goals to nil before a surprise one nil loss to strugglers, Tsholotsho. Ngezi Platinum then went on to rub salt on already bleeding Highlanders when they dismantled the former champions by three goals to nothing.
Though not happy with the level of officiating at Rufaro, Highlanders coach was relieved that at least his side managed to salvage a point.
Highlanders coach Erol Akbay was happy with the victory.
“No I am absolutely happy today because we could have won this match. We had lots of chances and we won a penalty and were not given. I knew they (Dynamos) play a physical game and I planned for it and I am happy with the progression,” said Akbay.
His counter part Lloyd Mutasa was not happy with the way the match was officiated which saw his star player being sent off.
“ I think we did not create many chances as we normally do and we failed to defend the goal we scored. We will take the point home.
I think from the start we were undone by such a decision. But I want to say well done to the officials, they did what thought was best. We don’t have control over that, we will just keep pushing,” said Mutasa.
The game became physical in the dying moments. Dynamos’ goal scorer, Ntouba, was sent off in the 85th minute as a result of a head butt which did not go well with both teams as for a moment, shoving and pushing became the norm of the game.
However, Arnold Ncube who was presiding over the match made sure there wasn’t going to be a recurrence of what happened on the 14th of May at Babourfields where the match was abandoned as a result of the violence that was transpiring.
At the end of the day gaffers, Erol Akbay and Lloyd Mutasa had to settle for a point.
A good result for Akbay who has broken the five matches without a goal jinx, and a setback for Mutasa who is eying the ZPSL silverware.