Dama Soccer Club proved their mettle on Saturday when they beat Ramblers A 2-1 in the U17 MTC HopSol Youth League at the Jan Möhr football grounds.
The game proved to be a physical affair and produced five yellow cards and four red cards.
Dama caught Ramblers off guard when they scored in the first minute of the game through Giorgio Awiseb, who tucked away a clever pass from the right wing. Nathan Amutale recorded the last goal for Dama, while Uhorera Mungunda salvaged a goal for Ramblers.
The Dama boys stuck to their guns by implementing basic football and doing what their opponents could not get right throughout the match.
Dama coach Pienaar Haitengi said his boys were disciplined throughout the match but an unfortunate incident occurred when players got involved in a fistfight towards the end of the last half.
“Some players and the referee were getting emotional, but at least we got the three points in the end. I can’t comment as to what happened, as I did not see what transpired – but I tried to stop the fight because we are here for football and not here to fight our opponents. We are going to do our job as a club to talk to our players; that’s all I can say,” he explained.
Haitenge felt his charges created a lot of goal-scoring chances but could not put the game to bed earlier, which he feels should be addressed going forward.
“I told my players if you score the first goal, it’s going to be easy, but they also caught us napping in the game. We have an inconsistency in scoring goals, as we also created a lot of opportunities for ourselves. We are good but we are not good enough to finish off, but we are just getting started.”
Ramblers, on the other hand, had the lion’s share of chances but failed to capitalise in front of goal, and only managed one goal off nine attempts.
Dillon Musvamiri of Ramblers said his charges started slow but got into the game only at a later stage.
He also feels let down by their ill-discipline.
“I have a very big concern regarding my players’ discipline. We have seen five yellow cards and four red cards today. This kind of behaviour is concerning. On our part, we will make sure our boys understand that discipline plays the most important role. But we are not giving up yet; we will continue to give our very best,” he said.
Musvamiri feels the game was physical and the referee should have asserted himself earlier before the emotions ran high.
“The tackles they were receiving were very physical – and as a result, the game began to deteriorate. It’s only later in the game that we started seeing a lot of yellow cards being produced. We need a situation where players are protected from the beginning and where the boys know if you play in that manner, this is what is going to come. But they played a good game. If we were going to have an extra five minutes, I believe we could have won the game.”
Elsewhere in the U/17 fixtures, KFA was held to a one-all draw against Baller Boys in their group A encounter.
Mentor James Britz said his team was not their best, as most of his players were in camp for the national team.
“Nine players were not present today but it’s not an excuse. It was a frustrating game because we worked on certain things but when you come to the game, you don’t see it.”
Britz believes his boys did not do the basic things that were expected of them once they had the ball.
“Our left back today looked like an attacking midfielder who was going out of position, which was not a good performance at all. With the ball or even without the ball, the U/17s are almost seniors because they can also play premier league or for the Brave Warriors.
“Look at Messi; he started playing for Barcelona when he was 16 years, so we need to treat them as such because if they go to a national setup, they must get used to those types of things. There is no more development at this type of age because every player has to fight for his position,” he noted.
Frederick Simpungwe, the striker from Baller Boys, felt his team played a decent game but they were unlucky in conceding a goal at the end of the game.
“I’m proud of the team. Hopefully, in the next game, we win with a lot of goals. But I don’t feel I played well today because I’m a number nine but I played as a right-winger. So, it was a lot for me to track back and forth, but I really need to improve and score more goals for the team.”