Ngezi Platinum Stars . . . (2) 2
ZPC Kariba . . . . . . . . (1) 1
FOLLOWING ZPC Kariba’s slip at the Baobab Stadium yesterday, the well-watered surface took centre stage post-match and Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya was unapologetic after he won the battle of the emerging versus the established against his former coach, Sunday Chidzambwa.
by Kevin Mapasure in Ngezi
ZPC Kariba struggled to cope with the surface, which the home side thrived on so well to emerge victorious with first half goals from Walter Mukanga and Tichaona Mabvura, which sandwiched a Rafael Manuvire strike.
While acknowledging that his team had not played well, Chidzambwa queried why the pitch had been subjected to heavy watering prior to the game.
But Ndiraya argued that such a soft surface should be the norm, even warning other teams that they will face the same situation when they come to the Baobab.
The home side flew out of the blocks trying to run rugged their opponents, who had played another match on Wednesday against Caps United.
Their plan was to put their opponents on the back foot early and worked when they raced into the lead early to leave ZPC Kariba chasing the game.
Mabvura was particularly a handful for the visiting defence as was striker Donald Teguru, who kept the centre back pairing of Arnold Chiveya and Tawanda Nyamadwe on its toes.
ZPC Kariba were not bad, as they launched their own forays into enemy territory and Manuvire looked a likely source.
For all his hard work Francesco Zekumbawira just doesn’t shoot well enough.
Twenty-seven minutes into the match, ZPC Kariba were gifted by Ngezi Platinum Stars captain, Patson Jaure, whose intended back pass was intercepted by Manuvire, who fired past Takabva Mawaya in goals for the home side.
Five minutes later, Never Tigere threatened Mawaya again from a free kick, which went just over the bar.
At the other end, Godknows Murwira was allowed too much room but he shot wide off the target having carried the ball from his own half.
With four minutes of the first half still to be played, Manuvire’s looping header had Mawaya scampering but he got the important touch to push the ball over.
But with everyone anticipating a halftime stalemate, Mabvura met a Teguru cross to spark wide celebrations.
The goal seemed to flatten the visitors, who struggled to impose themselves in the second half.