BY SPORTS REPORTER
MANICA DIAMONDS . . (1)1
TElONE FC . . . . . . . . . . (1)1
The battle of the newcomers Manica Diamonds and TelOne ended in a stalemate in this Castle Lager Premier League match which never got into second gear.
Both teams are playing their first season in the top-flight this year and it showed.
TelOne provided the major upset of the season so far last week when they dispatched champions FC Platinum and were expected to carry that momentum into yesterday’s clash at Gibbo Stadium.
But they found themselves trailing to a Stan Ngala goal after 23 minutes, with the Manica Diamonds forward scoring his second goal in successive matches.
However, the lead lasted just 10 minutes as Emmanuel Mandiranga levelled matters with a powerful shot, beating the experienced Tafadzwa Dube in goal for the home side.
The two teams did not create any meaningful chances thereafter. Luke Masomere’s men started the second half a much better side, but fired blanks.
In that dominant spell after the break, they could have reclaimed their lead, but Ngala’s shot missed the target by a few inches.
The visitors had their own good chances later in the match which they contrived to miss, with aging former Dynamos player Jacob Muzokomba the main culprit.
Masomere was content with the result.
“It was a fair result and I believe that both teams played well. I want to thank football fans here in Triangle for supporting us, we will always have you in our memories,” he said.
Manica Diamonds are using Gibbo Stadium in Triangle because Sakubva Stadium in Mutare, and their second option Vengere Stadium in Rusape, do not meet the minimum requirements to host Premier League football.
TelOne coach Jairos Tapera was also satisfied a point.
“We are happy with a point away from home. Manica Diamonds did allow us space to play our normal football, so we had a good game. They also had their moments and took the lead, but we managed to equalise to come away with a point,” he said.