BY NUNURAI JENA
ZPC Kariba substitute Samuel Makawa rose from the bench and scored the all-important goal that kept his side within championship-shouting distance at Nyamhunga Stadium yesterday.
A halftime pep talk and what turned out to be a shrewd substitution by ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi did the trick as Makawa ghosted from the blind side on the 68th minute to seal a victory for the electricity men.
The victory pushed ZPC Kariba back in the top four and Tamirepi believes that the championship is still within their reach.
“I’m happy with the victory. The game was a difficult one and that shows how competitive our league is. Now any team in the top four can snatch the championship,” Tamirepi said.
In the first half, there was minimal goal-mouth action, save for in the 37th minute when ZPC Kariba winger Talent Chamboko was guilty of skying the ball from a good position.
Three minutes later, the home side winger Jimu Gwara failed to beat Rhinos keeper Ashley Rayners when referee waved play on with Rhinos players expecting a foul.
In the second half, play continued to swing from one end to another with no breakthrough.
Rhinos veteran midfielder Alla Gahadzikwa failed to score on the 53rd minute when his shot, from a tight angle, missed the goalpost by inches with ZPC Kariba keeper a beaten man.
There was also an incident when members of the Rhinos bench tried to manhandle a ball boy for allegedly disturbing their goalkeeper.
Rhinos coach Herbert Maruwa said the ball boy was a nuisance.
“We complained since the first half that this ball boy was disturbing our goalkeeper. It’s an unfortunate incident,” he said.
Maruwa, however, conceded that they had lost to a better team.
ZPC Kariba: T Mawaya, I Nekati, D Phiri (S Makawa, 46′) B Mutukure, J Marufu, B Juru, D Chakupe, C Muleya, T Nyamandwe, J Gwara, T Chamboko
Black Rhinos: A Rayners, J Mukombwe, W Chakanya, T Taravani, M Mekiwa, A Tandi, M Demera (G Saunyama, 55′), M Mukumba, W Mutasa, W Taderera, A Gahadzikwa