Dodo Deflects Blame

CAPS UNITED . . . . . . . . (0)1

DYNAMOS . . . . . . . . . . . (0)1

CAPS United coach Darlington Dodo has refused to take the blame for the team’s poor showing in the Chibuku Super Cup, claiming there were things that were happening behind the scenes which could have affected their performance.

The Green Machine crashed out of the tournament yesterday after they were held by Dynamos in a Group A match played at Baobab Stadium in Mhondoro-Ngezi, a result that piled more pressure on the under-fire coach.

Needing to win the match to keep their chance of progressing to the next stage of the competition, Caps created quite a number of chances which they failed to convert.

They needed some luck to breach the Dynamos defence as Emmanuel Jalai once again scored an own goal just after the hour mark to cancel out a Bill Antonio opener for DeMbare.

Yesterday’s draw means Caps United remain on eight points and even if they win their remaining match, they will not go past Harare City and ZPC Kariba, who are now left to fight for the group’s second ticket for the quarter-final slot.

Log leaders Dynamos, who are unbeaten in the competition and have 24 points, clinched the other ticket and will face Group C runners-up Black Rhinos in the quarterfinals.

Caps United’s tepid show in this competition where they have managed just one win from nine games has put Dodo under pressure, with some supporters calling for his head.

However, the former Gunners coach, who earlier this week received the backing of his bosses, believes some of the criticism he is receiving is unfair.

Asked to comment on how the team fared in the tournament and the criticism that it has attracted, Dodo said: “It’s (the performance) not good, but there were reasons behind. It’s unfortunate that in most cases when the team loses, the people always blame the coach ignoring what could have happened behind the scenes. But as a coach you take it because that is the nature of our job.”

Caps United’s build up to yesterday’s match was not an ideal one as their players went on strike on Tuesday pressing for better remuneration.

But to their credit, they gave it their all and could have easily won the match yesterday had they been clinical. They also had two genuine penalty appeals which were turned down by referee Thabani Bamala. The decisions riled Dodo.

“We really wanted to win and stay in the competition and if all is to be said, we did what we were supposed to do. We had chances which we should have converted and we didn’t, but I feel we had one or two penalty appeals which probably could have changed the complexion of the game. Unfortunately, some decisions we are not bound to make them because we are not in control of some of the situations. But it was really unfortunate because if you look at how these boys responded to the circumstances that happened in the build-up to this match, we did well. We dominated Dynamos in most parts of the game.

“We sat down with the boys and we agreed on what we wanted to do. We wanted to turn things around because after what happened during the course of the week, we regrouped meaning the players agreed to train and agreed that they are going to play this game and try to grind a positive result.”

Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya said he was already preparing for the clash against Black Rhinos. He was, however, not pleased with the way his boys performed as they played second fiddle to Caps United for the better part of the game.

Buoyed by the Herentals victory over Harare City in the mid-morning match yesterday which threw Group A wide open, for the second slot at least, Caps United started the match brilliantly.

Their first real chance arrived 15 minutes into the match when Ali Maliselo’s back pass was intercepted by Phineas Bhamusi, who ran clean through but could not beat Dynamos goalkeeper Taimon Mvula.

Prematch, Dodo had complained about his team’s lack of precision and its shortcomings in that area was once again laid bare in the first half as it failed to convert its dominance into goals.

Their next good chance came on 37th minute when Clive Augusto turned well inside the box but drew a good save from Mvula.

Dynamos, already qualified to the knockout stage before kick-off, never engaged into second gear, probably reserving their energy for the quarterfinal clash.

Caps had a genuine shout for a penalty on 42nd minute when a shot hit Dynamos defender Sylvester Appiah, but the referee ignored the penalty appeal.

Dynamos had chances of their own at the end of the first half which twice fell on Newman Sianchali, who failed to convert. The striker reacted slowly on both occasions, allowing the Caps defence to recover and clear the danger.

Against the run of play, Ndiraya’s men took the lead 10 minutes after the break when Godknows Murwira made good work on the left channel and his cross found Antonio who rifled into the roof of the net.

It almost got better for DeMbare four minutes later when Caps goalkeeper Simba Chinani fumbled Antonio’s shot and substitute Tino Chiunye somehow failed to push the ball over the line.

Caps had the best chance to equalise on the hour mark when Leeroy Mavunga found himself alone in front of Mvula, but could not beat the keeper.

They eventually found the target, but in fortunate circumstances when a Brandon Mpofu’s intended cross was deflected in by Jalai. Interestingly, Jalai also scored an own goal when these two rivals met in the reverse fixture. Those are the only goals that Dynamos has conceded in the campaign.

Caps United pushed for the winner later on with substitute Tatenda Tumba coming close, but he was denied by a Mvula save before Appiah cleared off the line. He, however, looked to have used his hand to block the shot, and despite appeals from the Caps United players and bench, Bamala had none of it.


Dynamos: T Mvula, E Jalai, G Murwira, S Appiah, P Jaure, T Mavhunga, A Maliselo (T Chiunye,  55′), S Nyahwa, J Mutudza, N Sianchali (Eonde, 55′), B Antonio (B Mushunje, 85′)

CAPS United: S Chinani, M Diro-Nyenye, C Mavhurume, B Mpofu, T Joseph, R Hachiro, T Makurumidze (J Zhuwawo, 63′), T Pio, P Bhamusi, C Augusto (I Nyoni, 71′), L Mavunga (T Tumba, 71′) -NewsDay