Dynamos win as domestic football returns to Zimbabwe

Dynamos have claimed the President’s Independence Trophy as football returned to Zimbabwe on Sunday in a welcome development for the domestic game.

Dynamos defeated old foes Highlanders 2-0 at the National Sports Stadium in Harare in what was the first match involving top-flight teams to be played in Zimbabwe in over the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both teams had only a week to prepare for the game and so there were some expected signs of rust on each side.

Trevor Mavhunga put Dynamos ahead inside six minutes after veteran Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda misjudged the flight of the ball from a long-range shot. An own goal from Peter Muduhwa sealed the win.

“It was a good display,” Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya told reporters. “I think we were solid in defence. We managed to restrict Highlanders to a few scoring chances. But what was important was the stage that we were given today to showcase our teams.

“I also think we haven’t won this trophy in a long time. The game was a bit drab because of fitness issues but I thought we did well. I thought Highlanders controlled the match but we took advantage of the mistakes that they made and scored those two goals.

“Of course I am happy. It’s a special cup to celebrate the Independence of our country. That’s the importance of this day and this game more than anything else. So we are quite happy we are remaining with the trophy here.

“Credit to Highlanders. You could see that they are a team. We are not yet a team but I hope that as we go forward we take confidence from the win we got today. So I am happy for the team and happy for the fans. I just hope that we gel and play some good football.”

The start of the new domestic league season is expected to be announced soon.