BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
MANICA DIAMONDS……………….. (1)1
MANICA Diamonds coach Johanisi Nhumwa might have saved his job after his charges edged Tenax to win the Mutare derby in a fiercely contested Castle Larger Premiership match at Sakubva Stadium yesterday.
Nhumwa’s future had been uncertain with reports in the build up to the match suggesting he had been given ultimatum to deliver results after just two wins in the previous 10 games.
The club hierarchy was understood to be considering hiring former Warriors assistant coach Saul Chaminuka to take over the reins.
But the unassuming Nhumwa chose the perfect stage to demonstrate that he is the right man for the job and that the below par performance in recent matches was just a passing phase.
And his charges came out of the blocks faster, but their forwards struggled to breach the disciplined Tenax defense, with impressive right back Dexter Marara in top form.
Tenax missed a good opportunity six minutes into the match after winning a set piece just outside the penalty area, but Carlos Musimwa’s shot was tipped over by goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo.
Takunda Mapara was also guilty of missing a good opportunity when he skied over following a set up by Clarence Mbauya. However, their resistance ended on 23 minutes when Charles Teguru fired home a first time shot, profiting from a set up by Michael Tapera.
The lead gave Manica Diamonds more confidence as they continued to launch a series of raids.
Tenax improved in the second half, but were let down by poor finishing in the final third. Manica Diamonds remained resolute, defending as if their lives depended on it.
Nhumwa was a happy man after the win.
“I am happy with the victory. It is a derby and you always want to win games like these. I am happy for the boys. Yes, I had been given a two-game ultimatum the first was against Ngezi and this is the second and I passed. If you recall, I have been given so many ultimatums in the past and have always passed them. Today again it demonstrated that I am not a mere coach so, it is now up to them (executive) to make their decision,” he said in his post-match interview.
Manica Diamonds: J Muchambo, L Masibhera, T Chamboko, E Mafirenyika, T Ndlovu, L Chakoroma, J Takunda, P Manhanga, E Chingondi,(C Dhuwa 77′), C Teguru, M Tapera, (B Chikwenya 85′)
Tenax: P Makumi, D Marara, C Musimwa, L Chakuamba, J Jambo, T Zhakata, S Munemero, (W Mukudo 56′), C Mbauya, M Dumbura, P Mutasa, ( I Gwenzi27′), T Mapara
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