By Tendai Dune
The battle of Zimbabwe lived up to expectations, as two of the country’s biggest football clubs faced off in the Zimbabwe National Army Charity Shield match, that was eventually won by Dynamos after a spirited fight from Highlanders.
Fans who braved the rains at the giant National Sports Stadium got exactly what they paid for, as both teams put up a scintillating show, of which at the death of the game, the youthful Dembare team lifted the ‘Shield’ for the first time, since the competition’s inception, six (6) years ago.
It was however, a show of young talents, as both coaches, Lloyd Mutasa (Dynamos) and Madinda Ndlovu (Highlanders) fielded young guns, whom their loyal fans passionately called Kidznet (Dembare), while the Bosso faithful cheered their team as ‘ECD’, respectively.
It was a show of the young and upcoming talents, as they sweated out on the pitch, much to the delight of their coaches, who were also using the match to prepare for the upcoming Premier Soccer League 2018 season.
Just like in any other game, a winner is expected and the day belonged Dynamos, who won the game with a 2-1 score line, as all goals came in the second half.
Dynamos broke the deadlock, through an own goal by Honest Moyo after an intelligent solo run by ‘captain of the day’, Marshal Machazane, who later released a screamer, which Ariel Sibanda failed to hold on too, leading the ball to fall in the path of Tawanda Macheke, who crossed it for goal and unlucky Honest Moyo pushed it beyond his goal line for an own goal.
Dembare capitalized on an otherwise panicking Bosso to add a second goal, through new kid on the block, 19 year old, Kudzanai Dhemere, who is definitely a prospect for the future.
However, Highlanders got a consolation goal, through Adrian Silla and with a bit of luck could have got an equalizer in extra time, but the football gods were thinking otherwise, as the effort agonizingly crushed on the cross bar, much to the dismay of the Bosso faithful.
Kudzanai Dhemere ‘KD’ become the hero of the day after being voted player of the match. The boy continues to raise his bar after grabbing the limelight in the semi-final match against Caps United, where he scored a beauty that all, but booked Dembare’s ticket in the final.
The first half of the game had nothing much to write home about as the game was evenly balanced with action swinging both sides of pitch and both teams lacked precision in front of goal.
By the time the referee blew the whistle to end the match, both coaches were happy with the performance of their young guns.
Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa said, “These are youngsters coming up with within our system. We will have a bright future if these boys can be natured well and given more game-time. I think it’s something positive for the institution,” Mutasa said.
Despite his young side falling to their opponents, Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu optimistic and full of praise for his young team.
“I wouldn’t have asked for anything more than this. It’s just that luck was not on our side today, maybe we could have equalized in the last minute. We are only trying to bring back the culture of Highlanders. The type of football that entertains our supporters at large. So we are trying to bring the culture back to the Highlanders family,” said Madinda Ndlovu.
The win was certainly sweet revenge for Dynamos, who lost to highlanders 0-1, in the 2015 ZNA cup in 2015 when the giants clashed in the final played at Rufaro Stadium with Obadiah Tarumbwa striking the solitary goal that sank Dembare.