BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
MANICA Diamonds recovered from their two defeats to overcome a battling Herentals in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at the Nationals Sports Stadium yesterday.
The diamond miners went into the match desperate for a victory, having suffered consecutive defeats to Hwange and Chicken Inn.
The away side dominated the first half with Stanley Mangala missing a good header after two minutes. However, Herentals also fluffed a golden chance when Tinotenda Benza headed wide of goal a minute later.
The visitors could have gone into the lead on 26 minutes, but Last Jesi missed what could be a strong contender for a miss of the season – blasting his effort way over the cross bar in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Simbarashe Gondo.
Smelling blood, Luke Masomere’s men continued to press hard and it became a question of when rather than if they would score.
The goal eventually arrived on the 29th minute courtesy of Ngala, who got to the end of a cross from Lawrence Masibela to plant a firm header into the nets.
Takunda Jeffrey could have added the second at the stroke of the first half, but his speculative shot drew a fine save from Gondo.
In the second half, the School Boys tried to claw back into the game with Benza and Richard Hachiro coming close only to be denied by goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube as the visitors fought to protect their lead.
Masomere was happy with the victory, while his opposite Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva said his charges displayed a dismal performance.