Airforce of Zimbabwe side Chapungu frustrated title-chasing Ngezi Platinum Stars by holding them to a 1-all draw in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Ascot Stadium yesterday.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Ngezi needed a win to go top of the log as Dynamos were also held, but a lack of cutting edge upfront let them down.
Though Ngezi Platinum dominated the early exchanges, Chapungu were first to score.
In the 13th minute, Chapungu capitalised on confusion among the Madamburo defenders, who failed to clear a curling free kick from Blessing Sahondo, which Osborne Mukuradare headed home.
Ngezi then equalised in the 65th minute through Xolisani Moyo, who headed home a cross from Godknows Murwira’s free kick.
Both sides were hungry for goal in the second half, but the strikers failed to convert.
Terrence Dzvukamanja was picked in the box by Murwira, but he sent his effort over the bar, while for Chapungu, Mukuradare’s header missed the target by a few inches.
Walter Mukanga almost doubled the scores for Ngezi, but his effort hit the upright from an indirect free kick.
Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya conceded that the result was frustrating, but said the point gained could prove vital.
“In the first half, I thought we were in control of the game, we were not really following and at times rushing when it wasn’t necessary,” he said.
“Dzvukamanja and Keith Murera could have buried their chances, but failed. The boys had heavy legs after travelling from Bulawayo over the weekend as we had little time to rest. This is not the way we play, the boys failed to convert in the final third. It is a cause for concern for us.
“That point we collected is important for us to keep up the pressure in the title chase, although we all know that Ascot was never going to be an easy go for us. It’s still five games to play, we still have a chance.”
Chapungu gaffer Tendai Chikuni was satisfied with teams performance.
“We could have collected maximum points if our strikers had been clinical in front of goal,” Chikuni said.
“We after fighting for survival, a point is crucial for us. While Ngezi did their home work, we also did ours. We have not lost in three games and that is commendable for us.”