Shooting Stars ……………………(1) 1
Veteran midfielder Elliot Matsika struck the solitary goal that sank draw specialists Eagles as new coach Lazarus Magaya collected his first set of three points at Gwanzura Sunday.
Matsika’s goal after 17 minutes eased Stars’ relegation woes but they remained in position 13 on 23 points. Yesterday’s victory was their first since October and will set up a mouth-watering encounter with fellow relegation candidates Lengthens who are in 12th place with two points more than Shooting Stars.
Eagles were on cloud nine after a midweek draw with title contenders Dynamos but they failed to recapture that form and remained in ninth position on 34 points from 24 games.
Magaya was a relieved man after the victory and vowed that his side would survive the dreaded chop at the end of the season. “The win was a morale–booster for the team after a long spell without tasting victory. With this performance we showed today (Sunday) I’m confident that we can survive relegation,” said Magaya.
His opposite number Partridge Muskwe was angry with the match official Nomore Masundire after he decided to give his side an indirect free kick for what he thought should have been a penalty.
“Referees are killing our football in Zimbabwe because some of these teams that are fighting relegation will just buy their way to safety. A lot of people have been saying we are draw specialists but the referees have been denying us the three points in most of our matches.
“The referee was definitely biased against my team, denying us that penalty and tolerating the delaying tactics of (Pedzisayi) Gumiremhete towards the end of the match which is very regrettable,” said a fuming Muskwe.
Shooting Stars got off the blocks in search of an early lead, camping into the Eagles’ half in the initial stages of the match.
In the 17th minute Matsika pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the Eagles’ penalty area, releasing a goal bound stinger that took a deflection on its way past Samuel Mafukidze in goals for Eagles. Despite the efforts of speedy winger Tsepo Ranthokoane, who occasionally sent in beautiful crosses in the box Eagles were not sure-footed upfront.
Eagles: S Mafukidze, W Chingodza, M Dumbura, B Chirimhanzi (S Murove 49th min), P Muzondo, O Mwerahari, E Mwinga (K Machona 57th min), G Phiri, T Ranthokoane, T Takawira, W Conrad (D Chungwa 69th min)
Shooting Stars: P Gumiremhete, T Chiworeso, G Nyoni, E Matsika, F Chidungwe, S Munawa ( C Mutero 48th min), T Sambo, A Mudukuti, E Chimusoro, M Muneri, K Mawire (J Chitereki 58th min)