Saints, Monos share spoils

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Zimbabwe Saints . . . . .(1) 1
Monomotapa . . . . . . . . (1)1

Zimbabwe Saints were their worst enemies as they failed to take advantage of second half pressure to beat Monomotapa and collect maximum points in a lukewarm Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Luveve Stadium on Sunday.

Visitors Monomotapa were the first to score through Joseph Mutambiranwa in the 25th minute and Chikwata levelled the scores in the 27th minute through Ntokozo Tshuma to share the spoils in a match that was played before a small crowd of just under 1 000 spectators.

Hard running former Bantu Rovers striker Mkhululi Moyo, now at Monomotapa, kept the Zimbabwe Saints defence on their toes and his efforts finally paid off in the 25th minute when he set up Mutambiranwa.

Moyo shrugged off a challenge from Chikwata’s midfield in a nicely knit built up and pushed the ball into a running Mutambiranwa who powered in a thunderbolt past goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya.

Monomotapa’s joy was short-lived when two minutes later the hosts’ Ngonidzashe Murisa set up Tshuma who blasted the ball past Tapiwa Mafunga from just outside the penalty box.

Saints appeared to be more composed in the first half but Monomotapa’s midfield of Tendai Samanja, Kawashi Makai and Mutambiranwa became settled.

Chikwata’s Beaven Chikaka was unlucky when his shot hit the cross-bar in the 38th minute after eluding Diya.

Moyo was the man to watch as Monomotapa kept on flighting the ball upfront on the counter-attack, using his speed, keeping Chikwata’s centre-back Chipo Tsodzo in trouble.

Makai could have put the visitors in the lead in the 54th minute when Moyo beat a Zimbabwe Saints offside trap but his effort was punched away for a corner by Diya.

It was then Zimbabwe Saints reigning supreme in the second half with attacks from the right flank, masterminded by Gift Phiri but his onslaught paid no dividends for the home team.

Phiri was brought down on several occasions on the flank but his in-swingers from the set pieces were either saved by Mafunga or Chikwata’s strikers failed to score.

The last chance for Zimbabwe Saints came seven minutes before the final whistle after Chikaka flighted in a beautiful cross and a header by Tshuma was saved by Mafunga.

Monomotapa appeared to be happy with a draw away from home.

Teams

Zimbabwe Saints: M Diya, A Mbaiwa, P Muzondo, V Chitema, C Tsodzo, N
Tshuma, C Ndebele (F Nyambosi 80th minute), H Ncube (J Nyama 62nd minute)
minute), B Chikaka, N Murisa (S Gate 74th minute), G Phiri

Monomotapa: T Mafunga, B Mapfumo, H Mugoniwa, T Samanja, T Ngulube, M
Moyo, J Mutambiranwa (O Mukuradare 67th minute), T Munyaduri, D
Mukandi, K Makai, B Katsaruware