HomeSportNgezi Platinum bank on home comforts

Ngezi Platinum bank on home comforts

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NGEZI Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya is banking on his team’s good home record, as they try to bounce back from last week’s shock defeat at the hands of Shabanie Mine when they host Harare City in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Baobab Stadium this afternoon.

BY HENRY MHARA

The Mhondoro Ngezi side surprisingly fell 1-0 away to Shabanie Mine, their second defeat in three matches, following a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of champions Caps United three weeks ago, results that saw them overtaken in the title race.

But Ndiraya says the recent poor run of results was just a bad patch that “all teams go through” and believes his side has gone past it.

He is banking on a solid home record, where they have not lost a match at Baobab since being beaten 2-0 by How Mine this weekend last year.

They have lost six matches this season, all on the road.

“It’s a tough match against Harare City, but we want to bounce back from last week’s defeat. We haven’t lost a match at home for over a year, so that gives us a lot of confidence,” Ndiraya said.

“They also beat us last season, and we still remember that, so we have a lot to play for in the match. We are playing a very good Harare City side, one of the strongest teams in the league.

“It’s just unfortunate that they haven’t been getting results consistently. But we won’t allow them to embarrass us again in front of our home supporters.”

The two defeats saw Ngezi plummeting from the top of the log, to fourth behind leaders Chicken Inn, Dynamos and FC Platinum.
With 10 matches remaining in the season, Ndiraya says his team is still in the title race.

“We dropped points in the last three matches, but that is part of football. The loss of form came at the right moment, with 30 points still to play for, so we have ample time to recover,” he said.

“But now, we need to be consistent because we don’t want to continue getting mixed results at this stage of the race. We hope we have gone past that bad patch, and, hopefully, the leading teams will also hit the humps soon, and we take advantage.”

Ngezi go into the match without their top goalscorer Terrence Dzvukamanja, who picked a shoulder injury at Shabanie Mine, while Walter Mukanga hasn’t recovered from a knee injury he sustained at Caps United.

Xolisani Moyo will also not take part because of an ankle injury.

“Their absence will obviously affect the team because they are regulars and have been doing well, but it gives others an opportunity to shine. So as much as we are sad, we are grateful that other players will be given a chance,” Ndiraya said.

The major beneficiary of Dzvukamanja’s absence could be Donald Teguru, who is returning from an injury.

Harare City have had their own troubles in recent weeks, managing just four points from a possible 12 in August.

But they started spring on a high, with a win over Tsholotsho last week, and will be hoping for another victory on the bounce.

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