BY TERRY MADYAUTA
WHAWHA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
TRIANGLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Triangle gaffer Taurai Mangwiro was close to tears yesterday after watching his men settling for a draw against strugglers WhaWha in a Chibuku Super Cup Group 4 tie at Mandava Stadium.
This was the second time in the Chibuku Super Cup tournament that the Sugar Boys scored first and failed to hold on to their lead, as the topflight league newcomers earned a point in this competition so far.
In this one, Triangle looked well on course when they opened the scoresheet in the 15th minute courtesy of veteran winger Russell Madamombe who notched home a beautiful curling free-kick just outside the box.
The Lowveld side almost scored again 10 minutes later but Delic Murimba’s acrobatically-taken shot was repelled on the goal line by goalie Terrence Chiku.
From the recovery, WhaWha launched a sizzling counter-attack which caught the Triangle defence napping with King Nasama outpacing the aging Arnold Chivheya before picking Xolani Ncube, who calmly poked the ball past a static Takabva Mawaya.
In the second half, Triangle blew hot and cold while the prison wardens enjoyed themselves although their lack of precision in front of goal was their let down.
With the share of spoils, Triangle remain on third position in Group 4 with one point. WhaWha also have one point, but are fourth in the group due to a inferior goal difference.
Mangwiro conceded defeat, but refused to blame his players for their failure to collect maximum points.
“I can’t blame anyone except myself, but it’s not a blame game,” he said.
“We have a lot of areas that need to be improved, especially in terms of defending.
“It’s the second time we scored first and failed to remain in the lead. We are now in a difficult situation.
“But we are going to work on those areas and see if we can improve in the remaining matches.
“In this game, I had hoped that we were going to win especially after getting a few chances in the first half, but everything went wrong and now we dropped a point when we desperately wanted a win.”
His counterpart, Luke Petros was pleased with his side’s improvement after losing their first two assignments.
“It’s pleasing that we managed to get a goal today against all odds. We really needed this, but we really need to improve our players’ confidence.
“However, my players need to improve on their confidence. They need to stop showing respect to other players, otherwise I have a team that can improve to become better,” Petros said.
While Triangle had a cagey display, it was WhaWha goalminder Chiku, who stole the show with some fine saves that restricted their opponents.
At one moment, Madamombe got to the end of a beautiful Gerald Bhero cross to nod the ball destined for goal, but Chiku made a fine reflex to repel the effort before it crossed the line.
Murimba also had his other attempt tipped over the bar.
- Follow Terry on Twitter @madyautatpm