Log leaders, Ngezi Platinum opened a six-point lead on the following pack with a narrow 1-0 win over Airforce of Zimbabwe side, Chapungu at Ascot Stadium yesterday.
It was a tense game, but Ngezi have a knack for grinding out victories and this is what they did. Ngezi are on an incredible 16-game unbeaten run, with their last defeat being to rivals, FC Platinum on November 11, 2017.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
And for the first time since their promotion in 2016, Madamburo, as the platinum miners are known, managed to claim the scalp of Chapungu, courtesy of a Micheal Charamba-inspired goal.
Walter Mukanga broke the deadlock in the 67th minute, when he got to the end of sublime cross from second half substitute, Charamba.
The hosts were punished for sloppy defending, as Charamba capitalised on space in the middle of the park to show some trademark footwork, jinking past two defenders before Mukanga tapped the ball into an empty net.
Moments later, Charamba broke loose again, but his effort was parried for a corner kick by Chapungu goal minder, Talbert Shumba.
Chapungu failed to capitalise on the chances that came their way in the first half, as Bruno Mtigo’s 45th minute strike kissed the cross bar and went over.
Chapungu looked more dangerous after the interval, but their efforts were in vain.
In the end, Ngezi limped over the line and the dream to go the whole season unbeaten lives on.
Ngezi coach, Tonderai Ndiraya heaped praise on Charamba.
“I am excited with the way these boys are playing and I hope we will keep this tempo,” he said. “The last touch was not good, that is why we introduced Charamba, who made the assist and we got our first set of maximum points against Chapungu. He has been our impact player and his introduction immediately yielded results.”
His counterpart, Rodwell Dlakama said: “It was a lapse of concentration that let us down. We give credit to the winners, but I cannot take away the superb performance put up by the boys,” he said.