HARARE giants Dynamos’ bubble burst on Wednesday after they were thrashed 3-1 by FC Platinum in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at Mandava Stadium.
Dembare had hit a purple patch recently and were unbeaten in their last eight league matches. However, that fine run came to an abrupt end on Wednesday with the defeat to Norman Mapeza’s FC Platinum.
Dynamos had stoked the flames in the build-up to the match suggesting FC Platinum benefited from dubious officiating.
At the National Sports Stadium, Caps United were held to a goalless draw by Shabanie Mine leaving coach Lloyd Chitembwe suggesting that his players were no longer committed after attracting interest from several clubs abroad.
He said his charges were now cautious to involve themselves in tackles which he said was affecting the performance of the team.
The Zimbabwe champions reached the group stage of the prestigious tournament for the first time in history with some of their star players drawing attention from big clubs in Africa.
And without striker Abbas Amidu who agreed terms with Egyptian side Smouha and Ronald Pfumbidzai who left for trials in South Africa with Bloemfontein Celtic, Caps struggled for fluency against the visitors and could only manage a point which took their tally to 14 from 11 matches they have plated in the campaign. They remain third from bottom.
“We anticipated this after our participation in the Champions league and we need to try and reset the mind-set of the players. We need to refocus. Some still have broken hearts because when you set personal goals and you fail to achieve them, you are bound to expect this,” said Chitembwe.
He added, “You have players contemplating about their future. We have got about four or five players who could be leaving for foreign clubs and they no longer have the same commitment they had before. They are now chickening out of tackles and we need to refocus their mind set. It is a process but once the transfer window closes, I think it will be back to normal. But with a bit of luck I thought we could have wrapped up the match.”
His counterpart, Takesure Chiragwi, was happy with the point gained.
“We are happy with the point gained. It is very important for the club. The team has changed, we have some senior players who have left and for this young team to come and give us this result we can only be happy,” said Chiragwi whose team has not lost to the so called giants including Dynamos and Highlanders.
Shabanie started off brightly with Farai Mupasiri missing a good opportunity on seven minutes, sending his effort over the bar near the penalty area.
Moments later, Amon Kambanje directed his effort wide before Dominic Chungwa missed with a wild effort on 13 minutes in a one -one situation after breaching the visitors defence as Caps responded.
Shabanie could have made it 1-0 up on 23 minutes but Mupasiri watched his header crashing against the post. The Green Machine survived another attack a minute later, the ball hitting the bar once again following a goal mouth melee in the penalty area.
They, however, missed a good chance on 27 minutes with Chungwa and Kambanje reacting slowly after a wonderful delivery into the penalty area by Phineas Bhamusi.
In the second half, Bhamusi missed a headed opportunity, on 51 minutes following a good cross from Zvirekwi.
Second half substitute, Joel Ngodzo, who came on for Chungwa came close on 67 minutes while Chitiyo blasted his effort over the bar a minute later.