ONCE again, the burning issue of supremacy between two of the biggest clubs in the country, Dynamos and Highlanders could not be resolved after another 1-1 stalemate in a robust and highly physical match that turned ugly at Rufaro on Sunday.
By Tafadzwa Ndiraire
PSL leading goal scorer Chritian Ntouba Epoupa gave Dynamos hope of climbing to the top of the league table with a diving header in the first minute, off a free kick by Ocean Mushure his 11th goal of the season.
Bosso, however, threw a spanner in the works with Benson Phiri cancelling out Epoupa goal with a beautiful leveller on 60 minutes, when he drilled a low shot with the Dynamos defence guilty of ball watching.
The Glamour Boys’ hopes were however dashed four minutes from full time after Epoupa was sent off by referee Arnold Ncube after he appeared to head-butt Phiri following some pushing and shoving in the penalty area as Dynamos prepared to take a corner kick.
Phiri had on 51 minutes escaped caution by the referee despite having elbowed Epoupa in the face.
And as frustration took its toll, Epoupa lost his temper at the death resulting in the referee giving him marching orders which was met with a chorus of disapproval by the fans who responded by throwing missiles on to the pitch resulting in a brief stoppage of the match turned violent once again.
In the reverse fixture at Barbourfields in May, there was violence in the first half, after Epoupa scored an equaliser on 40 minutes to level the scores after Rahaman Kutsanzira had thrust Highlanders into the lead.
The result took Dynamos to third place with 49 points.
While, Dynamos dominated the first half, in which Ocean Mushure came close with a downward header three minute into the match, the visitors refuse to be cowed into the submission as they always carved out some good chances. Brian Sibanda’s speculative shot went wide on 13 minutes, while Gabriel Nyoni was denied by Tonderai Mateyaunga after breaching the Dynamos defence.
Dynamos though, had Peace Makaha to thank after he rushed to clear the lines after Godfrey Mukambi was left for dead by Gabriel Nyoni at the stroke of the first half.
In the second half, Highlanders were the better side, launching wave after wave of attack in their opponents goal and Godfrey Makaruse was booked for simulation.
However, Highlanders were level on 60 minutes, Phiri finding some pocket of space before firing a low ground shot that beat Mateyaunga.
Highlanders coach Erol Akbay was happy with the result, “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.
Dynamos: T Mateyaunga, P Dube, P Makaha, L Zvasiya, G Mukambi, T Chipunza, G Saunyama, C Kapupurika (E Mandiranga 60’), D Mukamba (T Macheke 49’), C Epoupa, O Mushure (M Mambare 74’),
Highlanders: A Sibanda, B Ncube, R Kutsanzira, K Nadolo, B Banda (S Munawa 52’), G Makaruse, P Muduhwa, T Ngulube, H Moyo, G Nyoni,(R Matema 86’), B