A SOLITARY strike by Jerry Chipangura gave Lloyd Chitembwe a dream start as Harare City coach after beating Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Interestingly, Chitembwe beat the same opponent last week when he was in charge of Caps United, before crossing the floor to the Sunshine Boys, as Harare City are affectionately known.
Chitembwe immediately announced his resignation after the 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Bosso at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday.
A few days later, he was unveiled as struggling City mentor, and his first match in charge was a tough trip to Highlanders, an assignment he passed with not much hustle.
The victory for the Sunshine Boys arrested an eight-match winless streak of five defeats and three draws, a run of results that had set off alarm bells ringing at the well-resourced club.
Yesterday’s victory saw City moving out of the relegation zone, to 14th on the log standings with 22 points, two above Mushowani Stars, who occupy the relegation cut-off point.
The win by Chitembwe’s new side also completed a league double over Highlanders, who they beat 3-1 in the reverse fixture at Rufaro Stadium in April.
William Manondo manufactured the only goal of the afternoon when he made his way past Highlanders defender Tendai Ndlovu on the right flank and sent in a cross, which Chipangura easily tapped in past goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda in the 21st minute.
Chitembwe said the win could be the start of good things at Harare City.
“It was a good game of football and the boys were very efficient in the way they expressed themselves, technically.
It’s quite amazing and I am very impressed. It’s a team that does not deserve where it is,” he said.
“I am extremely delighted with the result. This is an absolutely perfect club which is ambitious and I can’t wait to be part of them for a very long time.”
For Highlanders, the defeat, which was their second on the trot, was a hard pill to swallow.
The home side missed several chances in the game, a source of worry for coach Mandla Mpofu, who admitted they played a team which was hungrier.
“If you don’t take your chances, you are bound to be punished. We played a team that wanted it more than us and were desperate for points,” he said.
“It’s disappointing that we made one mistake and we conceded. We created a number of chances, but could not convert which is very worrying.”
Blaming lack of composure and confidence in front of goal cost them, he added: “I am not happy with the way we missed, but I am not demoralised, not panicking. We will rise as a team.”
Highlanders are two rungs above City on position 12 with 23 points.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, M Phiri, M Ndlovu, T Ndlovu, P Muduhwa, N Masuku, R Lunga (G Makaruse, 85’), B Banda (P Nyirenda, 69’), P Dube, D Mhindirira, B Sibanda (T Makanda, 69’)
Harare City: M Nyamupangedengu, M Machazane, W Manondo (W Mukanga, 86’), M Diro Nyenye, H Chipusha, M Muchenje, T Chimwemwe, T Tavengwa, J Chipangura (G Madhake, 75’), M Vengesai, I Wadi (T Tumba, 69’)