Dynamos through to finals

OWN CORRESPONDENT, Johannesburg | Sunday 1.30pm.

DYNAMOS of Zimbabwe scraped into the African Champions League final despite losing 1-0 at home to Hearts of Oak of Ghana in their final mini-league match Saturday.

The clubs finished with 10 points each in Group A after the six-round competition and the Harare club qualified because they had a plus-three goal difference and Hearts a plus one.

Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia finished third one point behind after trouncing Eagle Cement from Nigeria 5-0 in the Mediterranean town of Sousse with Mounir Boukadida scoring twice.

Dynamos will face Manning Rangers of South Africa or ASEC of Ivory Coast in the two-leg final with the first leg in Harare on November 28 and the return match in Durban or Abidjan two weeks later.

Hearts of Oak scored the only goal after 87 minutes when striker Joe Fameyeh pounced on a rare mistake by goalkeeper Ernest Chirambadare to score from close range.

The goal silenced the capacity 60000 crowd, which had to endure several anxious moments before Senegalese referee Falla Ndoye blew the final whistle and fans poured on to the pitch.

Dynamos paid the price for over-cautious tactics, particularly in the first half when they pumped long balls to outnumbered striker Makwenje Soma-Phiri, back following a two-match suspension.

Soma-Phiri did have a chance to put the Zimbabweans ahead midway through the opening half when a defensive blunder set him free, but his shot flew wide with goalkeeper James Nanor beaten.

The second half was even territorially with Dynamos more adventurous and unmarked Lovemore Ncube had a header saved by Nanor after 68 minutes. Dynamos are the first side from Zimbabwe to reach the final in the 34-year history of the leading African club competition.–AFP


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