Manica Diamonds switch off ZPC Kariba

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By Kevin Mapasure
Manica Diamonds ………………….. 1
ZPC Kariba………………………………. 0
MANICA Diamonds powered to their first win in six matches and condemned ZPC Kariba to their third consecutive loss after their slender victory in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Sakubva Stadium yesterday.
While the victory took the hosts into fourth place, it left the visitors in relegation trouble as they remain rooted on 16th position.
Manica Diamonds players and technical team erupted into jubilation at the final whistle and there was a colllective sigh of relief with having begun to take its toll on them.
Talented forward Charles Teguru’s goal after 60 minutes made the difference as he struck home from close range after being teed up by Nyasha Chintuli from a Pasca Manhanga throw-in on the left side. The trio was on top of their game as they terrorised the ZPC Kariba defence who sometimes resorted to desperate defending by Diro Nyenye.
The Gem Boys were the better side in the first half as they controlled the game well with methodical build-ups and neat exchanges but ran out of ideas when facing goal. The wasted several good chances to take the lead, with Tichaona Mabvura lacking both composure and precision in the final third.
ZPC Kariba, on the other hand, played at a pedestrian pace and looked happy to just contain their opponents and play on the counter. It was not surprising that the visitors’ first real threat at goal came after 50 minutes when Manica Diamonds goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo made a full stretch dive to his left to push Moses Demera’s shot out for a corner kick.
The hosts’ persistent attacks were finally rewarded in in the 60th minute when Teguru fired past Tapiwa Chilenga. He was set up by Chintuli after he collected a short throw-in from Pasca Manhanga.
Johanisi Nhumwa was delighted that his team returned to winning ways after five futile attempts.
“The game was good and we played well. You know, if you are coming from a slumber you struggle a bit but we managed to win today. We are now back to where we want to be and will continue improving form there. A win is a win and I thank my boys for the performance. In the first half we were rushing things instead of playing it simple, but the second half was okay and I am happy that we got a victory,” said the Manica Diamonds coach.
ZPC Kariba continued chasing the game and an equaliser proved elusive as they created no meaningful chances.
In conceding defeat, Godfrey Tamirepi said his team’s charges lost concentration at a crucial moment that decided the game.
“We managed the game very well although they had a little bit of an upper hand over us in the opening minutes. We restricted them from playing their game as we both could not create meaningful chances. We were only punished the moment our concentration levels dropped in the second half and conceded from a well-taken shot that took a deflection,” said Tamirepi.