Shooting Stars (1) 2
Monomotapa (0) 1
Shooting Stars moved out of the murky waters of relegation with a win over wasteful Monomotapa in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match played at Gwazura Stadium Sunday.
Veteran Elliot Matsika (pictured) banged a brace in the 36th minute and 63rd minutes to relieve some relegation pressure off the financially troubled Stars.
2008 league champions Monomotapa got their consolation goal through substitute Tawanda Nyamandwe in the 84th minute.
After the win, Shooting Stars, who are now on 32 points, leapfrogged Black Mambas into 11th position after the latter were humbled 2-1 by Shabanie Mine in another match played at Maglas Stadium.
As for Monoz, they remain on seventh position with 44 points.
Matsika was a happy man after the match and vowed his team will survive relegation when they meet Bantu Rovers next week.
“I’m happy with the result today, we wanted a win and we got it,” said the ecstatic Matsika.
“I want to credit this win to hard work. We just need a draw in our last match and if we play like we did today, anything is possible. I’m confident we will be playing premier league football next season,” added the Stars captain.
Monoz assistant coach George Jojo said he was disappointed with the way his team wasted the numerous chances they created especially in the second half.
“We didn’t take our chances and the time we tried to come back into the match it was too late,” said Jojo.
“We wanted to win the match to keep the winning spirit but unfortunately we lost the match. It happens in football,” added the assistant coach. Shooting Stars started the match brightly, pressing Monoz in their own half and they almost stole the lead in the 25th minute but midfielder James Chitereki’s header was cleared off the line by defender Fidelis Mangezi.
However, it was Monomotapa who got the best chance of the first half when Kudakwashe Musharu beat an offside trap and rounded off goalkeeper Pedzisai Gumhiremhete but surprisingly shot wide with a yawning goal in front of him.
They were to rue that chance as Stars hit them on the counter when Chitereki won possession in the center circle and dribbled past two defenders on the byline before squaring the ball to Matsika for an easy tap from close range.
Subsitute Charles Chiutsa also wasted a clear chance in the 60th minute when he beat another off side trap but instead of picking the spot and place the ball he was too elaborate and the goalkeeper parried the ball out.
Again, Monoz were to regret that missed chance as two minutes later Shooting Stars scored their cushion goal. Mangezi wrestled Simon Gadzikwa in the box and referee Batsirai Muchenje was not hesitant to point at the spot. Up stepped Matsika to send Artwel Mukandi the wrong side.
Nyamandwe pulled one back for Monoz when he received a cross from Chiutsa inside the box to smash the ball past Gumiremhete.