MUTARE CITY………….. (1) 1
NGEZI PLATINUM…………. 0
NGEZI Platinum’s posit of table-toppers FC Platinum suffered a setback when they were beaten by relegation-threatened Mutare City in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Vengere Stadium in Rusape yesterday.
BY HENRY MHARA IN RUSAPE
Victory would have taken Ngezi to within a point of log leaders FC Platinum, but the Mhondoro-Ngezi side was frustrated by the home side, who played one of their best games of the season, as they enhanced their chances of beating the drop.
Mutare City goalkeeper Bezel Mukunyadze played a huge part in the victory, with some vital interventions, especially in the second half.
For Ngezi, although they created some decent chances, they just didn’t seem to be up for the challenge.
Their performance left their coach Tonderai Ndiraya a disappointed man.
“This result is very damaging. We played badly today. The attitude, the commitment was not there and everything was not right. The pitch was very difficult, but it’s no excuse.
We just have to get results everywhere we go, even under the water, if we really want to win the championship. That is what I have demanded from the players. I’m disappointed by the way we defended today, we were very poor. We created so many chances which we failed to put away, and when you do that you lose. We need to improve going forward, if we entertain any chances of winning the league,” Ndiraya said.
Mutare City, on the other hand, are gathering momentum at the right time in their bid to survive relegation.
They have won two of their last three matches and are now two points from safety.
Their coach Ndega Matsika was emotional at the final whistle, as he raced on to the pitch to hug his players.
The team has won four matches this season, but yesterday’s was sweet for Matsika.
“It’s a big result for us since we came as underdogs. I want to say thumbs up to my boys. They did very well. These points are very vital to us since we are trying to survive relegation. This was fantastic performance and this one is a very sweet victory,” Mandega said.
Ngezi had a wonderful opportunity to crank-up the pressure on the leaders with a victory against a team playing with its back against the wall.
But they soon found themselves down from a Billy Vheremu screamer on the break.
From a Ngezi corner, Mukunyadze cleared the ball to Hussen Zvakavapano, whose long pass released Vheremu, who killed it with his first touch before firing from outside the box to beat Nelson Chadya in goals for the visitors.
Ndiraya’s men showed glimpses of enterprise after the early setback, but the home goalkeeper was scarcely called into action.
More frustratingly for Ndiraya was his side’s failure to punish Mukunyadze, who made numerous schoolboy blunders in the first half.
Chasing the game, Ngezi started the second half well, but still couldn’t trouble Mukunyadze.
Mutare City Rovers: B Makunyadze, P Gumbo, T Kabanda, L Mangaira, K Bingala, J Takunda, H Zvakavapano (D Mangezi 71), B Mushunje (K Njovo 79), J Chitavira, B Vheremu, V Tadzoka.
Ngezi Platinum Stars: N Chadya, T Mabvura, (H Moyo 80), L Chakoroma, K Bulaji, G Murwira, T Chipunza (S Owusu 60), K Murera, F Makarati, M Chawodza, J Ngulube (W Mukanga 83), D Teguru.