MIDFIELDER Tatenda Tumba turned on the style for Harare City who returned to winning ways with brilliant second half performance to hit three past Yadah FC at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
By Henry Mhara
Harare City . . . (0) 3
Yadah FC . . . . . . . . 0
Mark Harrison’s men had not won in their last three matches, with two defeats and a draw, and it looked like that run would continue after a subdued first half performance where the two teams struggled to create meaningful chances.
However, Tumba lit up the show with a brilliant goal after 71 minutes, his first of the season.
The midfilder brought down nicely a racking crossfield pass from Learnmore Muyambo before advancing into the box to smash an angled shot past Yadah goalkeeper Samuel Mafukidze.
The celebrations that followed the goal told a story of a man and a team that was beginning to feel pressure, with Tumba racing to hug everybody on the bench.
Takudzwa Chimwemwe doesn’t score regularly, but when he does, it is always special.
The right-back doubled City’s advantage four minutes later, when he charged into the box, skipping some weak challenges before firing home beyond the outstretched Mafukidze.
It could have been better for City on 79th minute when Tumba roasted his marker on the right channel before finding Protasho Kabwe with a precise pass, with the latter’s shot failing to beat the goalkeeper.
Yadah had a chance to reduce the arrears when they were awarded a free kick outside the box but Ralph Matema’s effort went wide.
The home side were not done yet, with Tumba, the instigator once again when his cross picked the unmarked Wilfred Muvirimi inside the box who headed home to seal a sensational win with five minutes remaining.
City’s win came at a cost though, as Tendai Samanja picked an injury inside first half injury time.
The dreadlocked midfielder was cluttered on by Milton Makopa, and was stretchered off the pitch.
Indications are that he could be out for some weeks, with his only respite being that the season is going into a two-week break, and by the time action resumes, he could be fit.
Yadah also has an injury worry after halftime substitute Leeroy Mavhunga got a kick into the head by Denzel Chimwemwe deep into injury time, and he was not looking particularly well at full-time, with medics from both teams attended to him as he wept uncontrollably.
It was a sour ending to a match by a team that had tried hard to win the match especially in the second with Morris Musiyakuvi’s dipping shot flashing just wide of Maxwell Nyamupanedengu’s goal.
The City goalkeeper was also forced to produce a smart save to deny the troublesome Johanes Sibanda who had exchanged passes with veteran Ralph Matema inside the box. But in the end, it was the shortest man in the field of play, Tumba, who made the huge difference, providing a goal, an assist, and other memorable moments of the match with his footwork in particular, delightful.
Harare City: M Nyamupanedengu, R Uchena, T Chimwemwe, B Chayambuka, M Nyenye, T Samanja (L Muyambo, 46′), M Muchenje, T Tumba, W Muvirimi, P Kabwe (J Chipangura, 81′), M Gaki (D Chimwemwe, 59′)
Yadah: S Mafukidze, W Kalongonda, W Chakanyuka, J Chitereki, A Makopa, M Makopa (J Dzingai, 46′), B Mapfumo, C Sekete (L Mavhunga, 46′), M Musiyakuvi, J Sibanda, R Matema