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Lloyd Mutasa’s triumphant return



Lloyd Samaita Mutasa

Defender Blessing Moyo and striker Kudakwashe Kumwala scored in successive minutes late in the first half to ensure coach Lloyd Mutasa had a triumphal return to the Dynamos dugout against Nichrut in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.

This was only the club’s fifth win in a tumultuous season so far as the league enters the halfway mid-season break. Moyo broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute with Kumwala doubling the lead a minute later. Andrew Kanchwachwa reduced the arrears with just four minutes left on the clock.

“Obviously when you have been away and you come back and get a positive result, I think that’s what any coach would aim for,” Lloyd Mutasa said in his post-match interview.

“What we really wanted today was to try and get three points so that we have an element of consistency after picking three points last week,” he added.
Lloyd Mutasa was fired by the Keni Mubaiwa-led Dynamos executive at the beginning of May following a string of poor results.

He made a sensational return two weeks ago at the behest of the board, but could not immediately return to the dugout as he was away with the national team.
His return seems to have energised the players as they looked fresh and hungry from the outset yesterday.

Quality Kangadzi had Mutasa throwing a fit of rage on the touchline after he missed a sitter halfway through the first half.

Winger Valentine Kadonzvo had done well to square the ball for the striker who shot weakly at Tafadzwa Jabangwe with the goal yawning wide in front of him.
The hosts had another opportunity to open the goals account, but defender Godfrey Mukambi, unmarked in the box, headed wide Blessing Moyo’s inviting cross.
Dynamos began to look ordinary as the half wore on, but then came the goals.

Peace Makaha’s well-measured cross picked out Moyo’s head and he simply directed it into the goal just before half-time.
Dynamos were not done yet, the very next minute Kumwala doubled the scoreline racing on to finish off a Cleopas Kapupurika through the ball with chilling deliberation.

Dynamos came from the breather with the intention to finish off the game.

Kangadzi and Kadonzvo had two quick chances in succession, but Jabangwe did well to thwart them. Moyo gave Nichrut an opportunity to pull a goal back hacking down Tatenda Hapazari at the edge of the box. But veteran utility player Asani Nhongo’s free-kick flew just over.

Kanchwachwa then ensured a nail-biting finish to the match latching onto a long ball from midfield to dink it over Simbarashe Chinani in the 86th minute.
DeMbare managed to cling to the precious points.“In the first half, we were playing until the last minutes when we lost concentration and conceded two goals. In the second half we played better, we managed to get a goal,” Nichrut coach John Nyikadzino said after the match.

The Standard

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Highlanders’ Apology for Fan Misconduct in Abandoned Dynamos Fixture




Highlanders Football Club has issued a sincere apology to the Zimbabwean football community following the crowd skirmishes that occurred during the high-profile premiership fixture against their archrivals Dynamos. The incident happened just 33 minutes into the game at Barbourfields Stadium, where the Bulawayo club was trailing by two goals. Fans stormed the pitch, protesting against the referring decisions that were perceived to be unfavourable to their team.

The police were overwhelmed by the advancing football hooligans, forcing them to retreat. Some fans were injured during the skirmishes, and vehicles were damaged as the police fought running battles with fans outside the stadium.

In a statement released on Monday, the Highlanders Football Club condemned the unsporting behaviour of the fans who caused the abandonment of the match. The club executive stated that they would be heavily fined for the mayhem, and the points would be awarded to Dynamos on a 3-0 scoreline as per the norm with abandoned matches.

The statement read, “Highlanders Football Club is deeply saddened by the crowd trouble that led to the abandonment of our league match against Dynamos FC at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday. The club condemns the unsporting behaviour that negatively profiles Zimbabwean football as a brand. It is sad to witness such ugly scenes at a family sports event, especially at a time when the club, together with other stakeholders, is working tirelessly to bring fans back into the stadiums and convincing the corporate world that sport, in general, and football, in particular, is worth their support.”

Highlanders apologised to all its stakeholders, especially sponsors, partners, and innocent football-loving fans who were affected by the acts of a few selfish individuals who care less about the growth of their clubs and football in general. They also prayed for those who were injured and wished them a speedy recovery. The club also urged stakeholders to work together to find a lasting solution to hooliganism in football stadiums.

This is not the first time in two seasons that a match involving the two most followed clubs has been abandoned due to crowd trouble. Another fixture was abandoned in May last year when both sets of fans invaded the pitch. Highlanders celebrated an unorthodox celebration for a 93rd-minute finish by Washington Navaya that broke the deadlock, while Dynamos fans were protesting a referring decision over an incident leading to the goal.

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Zimbabwean youngster Jimiel Chikukwa has joined English National League side FC Halifax Town




Zimbabwean youngster Jimiel Chikukwa has joined English National League side FC Halifax Town following his release by Championship side Watford.

The 20-year-old forward was unveiled by Halifax Town last week. ”We are pleased to announce that FC Halifax Town has signed Jimiel Chikukwa, who was recently released from Championship team Watford”. Chikukwa started his career in the Leeds United academy when he was only 13 years old. However, he decided to join Watford’s academy in the summer of 2021 when his contract with Leeds expired.

During his time with Watford, Chikukwa was loaned to Maidstone United in the National League South for the second half of the 2021/22 season. Although the Stones won the National League South, Chikukwa only made one league appearance before returning to Watford at the end of the season.

Town boss Chris Millington is optimistic about the future of new signing Jimiel Chikukwa.

Millington expressed, “He is a young and thrilling player who needs to demonstrate his abilities in senior games. However, he has shown tremendous potential, and we believe he will be an exceptional player for our team in the future.” Millington also mentioned that Chikukwa is versatile and can play in various positions, including anywhere in the front three and as an attacking wing-back.

We think he could pose a danger when playing as a number nine, but he could also be a threat when positioned on either wing. In our current formation, he might even excel as an attacking wing-back, similar to Angelo Cappello.

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Reims secures first win with Munetsi scoring his first goal




Zimbabwe international Marshall Munetsi has expressed his delight after scoring his first goal of the season to inspire Stade de Reims to their first win of the season following a 2-0 victory against Clermont Foot in the second round of the French Ligue 1 on Sunday.

The 27-year-old midfielder was instrumental in ensuring Reims got its first win of the season after breaking the deadlock with a header in the 17th minute.

Denmark international Mohamed Daramy, a new signing from Ajax, added a second goal by converting a low cross from Junya Ito in the 84th.

Munetsi, who is flourishing in a more advanced role at Reims, had several opportunities to double his tally.

Probably his best chance of securing a brace came in the 76th minute when the Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw produced a double save to deny the Zimbabwe international what looked like a certain goal.

In the end, it was a successful day for Munetsi as he continued his solid start to the season by scoring a crucial goal to follow up on his contribution on the opening day of the season when he registered an assist during the 2-1 loss against Marseille in the first round of the season.

Afterwards, Munetsi took to social media to praise his teammates for putting on a solid display to register their first win of the campaign in their second match.

Great team performance @StadeDeReims to get our first win of the season at home. We keep going,” Munetsi said.

The former Orlando Pirates player is expected to play an important role for the Zimbabwe Warriors when they return to international football later this year in the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

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