BY HENRY MHARA
Yadah . . . . . . . . . . 0
Bulawayo Chiefs . . . (0) 2
BULAWAYO Chiefs eased their demotion worries with a victory over fellow strugglers Yadah in a relegation duel at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Defender Shadreck Nyahwa headed the visiting side in front on the 54th minute before Jonathan Chitereki scored an own goal to give Bulawayo Chiefs their second win in four matches.
Chiefs remain second from the bottom, but they have closed the gap on Herentals to just two points ahead of their match against city rivals Highlanders on Wednesday next week.
Yadah remained at the bottom of the standings and in real trouble of getting relegated at the end of the season.
Winning coach Thulani Sibanda is hopeful that his team will once again mount another relegation escape, just like what they did last season.
Last year, Chiefs left it late, but eventually managed to avoid the chop.
After struggling in the first round of matches, Chiefs look a rejuvenated side in the back end, with just one defeat in five matches.
“It was a tough match against a team that is also fighting relegation like us. I applaud my players for keeping composure, showing good intensity and showing determination. We are still hopeful of surviving relegation. In the first half of the season, it was difficult for us to grind results and we were conceding a lot of goals. But now, we are a little bit better in those aspects and that gives us hope,” Sibanda said.
Yadah will have themselves to blame for this defeat, having enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, especially in the first half, but failing to put away the many chances which came their way.
The team’s poster boy Leeroy Mavunga wasted the best opportunity for his side in the first half when he ran clear, but from a tight angle, he couldn’t beat the goalkeeper Liberty Chirava, who made a double block to clear the danger.
But it was striker Ralph Matema who was the chief culprit, missing a glut of chances for his team, including a free header.
The veteran striker also failed to connect the ball from corner kicks on two occasions with the goal gaping.
Nyahwa showed him how its done when he headed past Yadah goalkeeper Ali Issah following corner kick, before Chitereki miscued into his own net as he attempted to clear a Farawu Matare cross.
Yadah: A Issah, W Kalongonda, B Madzokere, M Musiyakuvi, J Chitereki, E Karembo, W Kamudyariwa, Z Bizeki (P Nyamakure, 60’), L Mavunga (H Chimutimunzeve, 85’), J Sibanda (L Mucheto, 79’), R Matema
Bulawayo Chiefs: L Chirava, B Mpofu, I Badu, M Mkolo, S Dube, L Ndlela, A Musiyiwa, S Nyahwa, F Darkpata (F Matare, 53’), S Mhlanga (K Chakanyuka, 93’), H Chikosa