BY KENNETH NYANGANI IN TRIANGLE
TRIANGLE . . . . . . . . . . . .(2)2
NGEZI PLATINUM . . . . . (1)1
TRIANGLE survived a late onslaught and held on to pick three points in their opening fixture of the season against a fighting Ngezi Platinum Stars in the lively Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Gibbo Stadium yesterday.
There were anxious moments for the home side supporters as the visitors came out probing with fierce raids late on as they looked for an equalisers.
However, the home side managed to protect their gains following goals by Russell Madamombe, who converted from the spot just 12 minutes into the match, and Kudzai Chigwida who headed in the winner in the 34th minute after Barnabas Mushunje had levelled for Ngezi from a free-kick on 24th minute.
Triangle gaffer Taurai Mangwiro was releaved that his side managed to hold their own against the flurry of attacks from the Mhondoro-based team, who are also gunning for the title this season.
“We did the right thing by taking the game to them very early and were very unlucky not to take the lead in the first minute and after that we continued probing until we got
the much needed goal from the penalty spot,”
“Its very unfortunate that we allowed them to claw back into the game and equalised, but we recovered and managed to get the win. In the second half we had to take in a lot of pressure but we defended well,” he said
His counterpart Elroy Akbay has been given a target to win in the league this season, and he will not be pleased by the way his team started the campaign.
“We conceded our goals through mistakes that we could had avoided, but we had a good second half, but we witnessed some delays,’’ he said
The home team who finished fourth last season are also gunning for the championship and their intentions was clear from the start as they poured forward from the first whistle.
They were unlucky not to take the lead in the first minute as Collin Dhuwa’s fine header found the upright post.
Just three minutes later Russell Madamombe watched in disbelief as his header was cleared off the line after benefiting from defender Kudzai Chigwida’s cross.
Triangle early dominance was finally rewarded in the 12th minute when Dhuwa was tripped inside the box and matchday referee pointed to the spot for Madamombe to convert past
Nelson Chadya who had guessed the correct side.
The visitors, however, refused to be cowed into submission and they got their deserved equaliser in the 25th minute through a well struck free-kick by Mushunje.
Ten minutes later, the Sugar Sugar Boys, as they are affectingly known, restored their lead with Chigwida beating the goalkeeper with a looping header off a Madamombe free-kick.
Ngezi Platinum had a perfect moment to equalise just three minutes after the breather, but Bruno Mtigo pushed his effort wide with goalkeeper Marion Chang to beat.
Substitute Kelvin Bujali was unlucky after two shots were cleared off the line late on as Triangle held on for the precious three points.
Triangle: C Marion, P Tonha, B Chayambuka (T Mavhunga, 65’), D Dzvinyai, K Chigwida, D Mudadi, T Mugoniwa, R Kawondera, R Madamombe, C Dhewa (A Chivandire 51’), D Murimba
Ngezi Platinum Stars: N Chadya, M Charamba, M Mushonga, P Moyo, J Nguluve, F Makarati, W Makuva, B Mtigo, B Mushunje, T Mchisa, D Teguru