Bullets, Kariba share spoils

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BY HENRY MHARA IN MHONDORO NGEZI

CRANBORNE BULLETS . . . . . . 0

ZPC KARIBA . . . . . . . . . . . . ……0

CRANEBORNE Bullets coach Nesbert Saruchera is not worried by his team’s winless run in the Premier  Soccer League following a draw against ZPC Kariba at Baobab Stadium in Mhondoro-Ngezi yesterday.

The promoted side showed early season promise when they reached the semi-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup tournament, but they have failed to reproduce that form in the league.

Their record of two defeats and two draws so far does not make good reading for the army side who currently sit in the relegation zone, four matches into their maiden appearance in the league.

“The season is still early and games are still there so I am not worried at all,” Saruchera said.

“We are working very hard to get our fitness back. Remember, we were the fittest team in the Chibuku and we are working to regain those fitness levels. Once we do that, we will be unstoppable.”



Before kickoff, the two teams observed a minute of silence in honour of former Warriors defender Charles Yohane who was gunned down in South Africa last week. As soon as the first whistle sounded, it was Craneborne who came off the blocks flying and created a glut of chances early on. They could and should have been out of sight at halftime.

But the striking pair of Everson Feremba and Brian Muzondiwa, who looked ridiculously overweight, took turns to waste chances.

Zpc Kariba had a genuine appeal for a penalty after Johanne Sibanda was hacked down from behind by defender Tendai Kachembere on the 11th minute, but the referee inexplicably looked away.

The injured Sibanda could not carry on and was taken off to be replaced by Lloyd Gwerina.

Craneborne continue to enjoy the lion’s share of possession in the first stanza and almost took the lead just before the hour mark, but Feremba was denied by a cross bar.

“We were supposed to beat them in the first half,” Saruchera said. “We created more than half a dozen chances, but we couldn’t break them. We are coming from a season break so we are a bit rusty, but I hope in the next two games we should be okay.

“We managed to create chances which is a positive on our part. They also had their chances, but we should have wrapped the match in the first half. Of course, we are yet to collect maximum points, but I am sure it will happen soon.”

ZPC Kariba upped the game in the second half where they created some chances which they also failed to put away.

Substitute Samuel Makawa thought he had found the net right at the dearth for ZPC Kariba, but his effort was flagged for an offside

The Godfrey Tamirepi-coached men also had another chance deep into injury time when Gwerina found himself free on the right before squaring the ball for former Dynamos striker Newman Sianchali who miscued his effort with the goal at his mercy.

The draw means ZPC Kariba are now on five points and Tamirepi can’t really complain.

“It was a difficult match for us considering we are coming from a break. We never had any friendly matches and put our things together right. We had to come and make amends under a real match situation and I would say the guys fared well to pick a point and keeping a clean sheet,” Tamirepi said.

“We created meaningful chances than our opponent and we could have killed the game in the second half where we created three clear cut chances. Unfortunately, we couldn’t convert them, something that I would attribute to lack of friendly matches. With friendly matches you get match fitness so it’s one thing that costed us two points today.”

On the denied penalty incident, Tamirepi feels his team was hard done and is convinced the referee made a wrong call.

“We deserved a penalty, I thought it was a clear foul. Then the goal that was flagged offside I would agree with the second assistant’s call. It was very marginal though but I concur with the match officials there.”

Teams

Craneborne Bullets: T Makoni, T Kachembere, M Mushangwe, D Mbewe, X Janatana, K Chidonza, W Kapinda (T Chibunyu, 80′), M Namakhoma, M Mudzuka (T Meke, 58′), B Muzondiwa (M Mudzuka, 58′), E Feremba

Zpc Kariba: A Munkuli, B Chayambuka, M Kunyarimwe, D Nyenye, B Madzokere, P Mazhawu, C Muleya, T Chiunye (V Kawe, 58′), B Juru (N Sianchali, 58′), M Demera (S Makawa, 80′), J Sibanda (L Gwerina, 15′)

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