Gunners . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
Shooting Stars . . . . 0
Masvingo. . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Caps United . . . . . . 0
Exciting Gunners’ left winger Ali Sadiki made a winning return to top-flight football after almost a year on the sidelines due to a career threatening injury to help Gunners beat Shooting Stars in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter at Lafarge Stadium yesterday.
At Mucheke Stadium, Caps United suffered their fourth defeat in a row when they went down 1-0 to Masvingo as Maxwell Takaendesa Jongwe failed to stem the tide at the Green Machine.
Again, he had to face the torrent of abuse at the hands of angry fans while Masvingo, now under Saul Chaminuka, rejoiced in the famous victory.
“We made one mistake and we paid for it,” was all Jongwe could say after the match.
At Larfarge, the former Young Warriors’ dribbling wizard Sadiki lasted the entire 90 minutes and won a late penalty which was converted by Lloyd Masakusi after 85 minutes as Gunners sealed the three points.
Gunners had gone to the breather leading 1-0 courtesy of a first time volley by Moses Muchenje, who was however stretchered off at halftime after a collision with Shooting Stars defender Blessing Mazorodze.
Gunners moved up to ninth position on the log standings on 23 points while Shooting Stars remained in the relegation mire on position 14.
Chunga, who is yet to taste defeat since rejoining Gunners from Caps United last month, said he was glad that his charges managed to collect three points despite a below par performance.
“In the end it was just about grinding out a result and making sure that we collect three points. We didn’t play our normal game and the injury to Muchenje affected our rhythm but I’m happy with the performance of the team.
“Now that we have moved closer to safety the aim is now to continue playing well and make sure that we don’t relax,’ said Chunga.
Shooting Stars coach Tonderai Marime said: “It was unfortunate that we gave away easy goals but I was happy with the performance of my team. In attack we also failed to put away our chances which in the end cost us dearly.”
Gunners looked the hungrier of the two teams from the start as they dominated the early exchanges with some quick-passing football.
With Shooting Stars still trying to get into the match, Chando Kupisa raced into the lead in the 15th minute courtesy of a first-time volley by Muchenje which beat Willard Manyatera all systems out.
Shooting Stars defenders Tafadzwa Mazunze and Mazorodze were slow to react to deal with the cross.
The Wild Boys, as Shooting Stars are referred to, hardly threatened Prosper Chigumba in goals for Gunners with the dreadlocked striker Kelvin Mawire fighting a lone battle upfront.
Gunners killed off the match as a contest after Mazunze brought down Sadiki in the box leaving referee Ruzive Ruzive with no choice but to point to the penalty spot.
Masakusi stepped to blast the ball past Manyatera, who despite having gone the right way had no chance to make a save.