Harare City . . . (1) 2 Monomotapa . . . . 1
MONOMOTAPA’s hopes of finishing in the top three went up in smoke after they went down to Harare City at Gwanzura yesterday.
Report by Michael Madyira Sports Reporter
“Monoz” defender Jimmy Tigere gifted City with the opener when he beat his own goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi in the 35th minute, before Crispen Dickson slotted home Ronald Sengu’s low free-kick in 71th minute to double the advantage for City.
Zvikomborero Biseki grabbed a consolation for Monomotapa 10 minutes from time, as the former champions succumbed to a third straight league loss.
On an afternoon where third-placed Chicken Inn gained a point after drawing with CAPS United, Monoz remained on fourth spot with 47 points.
City’s win saw them moving one place up to displace Caps United at ninth position.
Monoz coach Biggie Zuze felt his side failed to match their opponents.
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“I think our recovery let us down. From the first whistle we were second on the ball and slow to react in many situations,” said Zuze.
City’s gaffer Bigboy Mawiwi said they could have won by a wider margin.
“I knew we were going to play our best football because my boys always rise to the occasion when we play good teams. I feel we should have added one more goal,” Mawiwi said.
The first half was a drab affair with no clear-cut chances coming from both sides.
Monoz fans could have coined the moniker “Chinomakwa Nani?” with menacing Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo in mind, as the diminutive midfielder was always a handful for City, who were struggling to contain him, as he fought a lone battle in a losing cause.
Meanwhile, Shabanie Mine scrapped past relegated Quelaton courtesy of a second-half strike by Farai Mususunye in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Maglass Stadium yesterday.
The hosts’ scrappy performance drew whistles and jeers from fans.
Coach Luke Masomere admitted his team had a bad day in office.
“The way we played leaves a lot to be desired. We struggled to knock the ball around although we had a few flashes of brilliance. I am, however, happy with the three points because we had gone for a long time without a win,” said the gaffer.
Shabanie Mine struggled to stamp their authority in the first half, causing little worry for the Quelaton rear guard. Leading goalscorer Nelson Mazivisa looked lost under the watchful eye of Zibusiso Sibanda.
It was Erea Phiri who almost put the hosts ahead in the 35th minute when his grounder from outside the box hit the left upright post and Philip Sithole’s attempt from a rebound also hit the same post.
Shabanie Mine came back in the second half hungrier, but their strikers could not calm their nerves, rushing their touches and inevitably allowing Quelaton to clear their lines.
Realising that his front line was getting blunt, Masomere pulled out Francis Kanda for Mususunye in the 58th minute to add impetus in his attack.
The super substitute broke the duck for the hosts in the 73rd minute with a scrappy goal when he tapped in a Philip Sithole cross while under challenge.