Shooting Stars . . . . . . . . .(1) 1
Motor Action. . . . . . . . . . . 0
Patson Ndabambi made a welcome return to Shooting Stars when he led his charges to their first victory of the season in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against reigning champions Motor Action at Gwanzura on Thursday.
In a battle of wits pitting Ndabambi and his former boss Joey Antipas, when they were coaching Stars in 2009, Ndabambi emerged as the winner through James Chitereki’s priceless goal a minute before half time.
This was just not Motor Action’s day and besides missing a tale of chances, they had to finish the match with 10 men after the 85th minute expulsion of Masimba Mambare for a second bookable offence.
The result is not a true reflection of the game as Motor Action were by far the better team, but their strikers either found Shooting Stars goalkeeper Pedzisayi Gumiremhete at his best or missed the target.
Such was the relief to Ndabambi after the match.
“It is a very important win for us as the team had been playing badly. I am glad we won in my first game in charge of the team again. However, I am not happy with the level of fitness of the players and that is something that we have to work on. I hope this time I will have a successful stint at the club,” said Ndabambi, who was appointed as head coach last week following the firing of Lazarus Magaya.
His opposite number, Antipas, eyes watery, could not hide his disappointment on losing the match and blamed his players for the loss.
“This is the game we played poorly and I could rank as the worst performance of the team. The will to win was totally missing,” he said.
Shooting Stars who had lost all their matches this season to FC Platinum (2-0), CAPS United (5-2), Blue Ribbon (2-0), started the match on the back foot and could have gone behind in the 13th minute, but Edmore Chitato’s effort off a Mambare cross was off the mark.
The team then created a number of chances but nothing came out of their efforts until before halftime.