Arenel hold defending champions Ngezi Platinum Stars

Ngezi Platinum Stars after they won the Castle Challenge Cup against Dynamos two weeks ago

Arenel Movers..........................0

Ngezi Platinum Stars...............0

Newcomers Arenel Movers made a huge statement in their first ever topflight league match after they held defending champions Ngezi Platinum Stars in a lukewarm encounter played at Luveve Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Ngezi came into the match bubbling with confidence after winning the Castle Challenge Cup a fortnight ago.

However, they met an Arenel side that was unbeaten throughout the 2023 ZIFA Southern Region Division One league season.

Arenel coach Farai Tawachera was pleased with the result, describing it as a point gained than two lost. Arenel were unbeaten last season, meaning that their unbeaten run continues.

"This is a point gained. We will take it and thank God for that. It was not going to be easy because we know how Ngezi plays. They beat Dynamos last time and they come to us and we get a point. It's a positive, I want to be honest. No one gave us a chance, I told my boys this is a David Vs Goliath affair. We need to believe in ourselves," said Tawachera.

His counterpart Takesure Chiragwi felt the missed opportunities in the first half proved costly in the end.

"We played very well, we did everything but our efforts couldn't take us home with the three points unfortunately. Credit to Arenel, they were solid defensively. We tried to use wing play but it didn't get us goals.

"We were supposed to go to halftime leading by two goals to nil but unfortunately the first effort was cleared off the line and the other one was saved by the goalkeeper," said Chiragwi.

Ngezi Platinum asserted their dominance earlier on with Richard Hachiro's influence telling.

 However, the defending champions failed to create meaningful goalscoring opportunities against a well organised Arenel defence that had veteran Moses Jackson partnered by Arthur Ndlovu.

With the scoreline deadlocked after a quarter of an hour, the Zifa Southern Region Division One champions grew in confidence and the midfield duo of Brian Jaravaza and Cedric Chinomona made their presence felt.

A long range attempt fired with aplomb by Ngezi skipper Qadir Amin was deflected for a corner kick in the 27th minute. Confusion between goalkeeper Aaron Ngwenya and Arthur Ndlovu ensued from the resultant corner kick before the goalkeeper made a flimsy punch.

In the second half, Arenel was on the ascendency and 58th minute Kufandada's header went wide from a corner kick.

In the end, it was Arenel who almost stole it at the death after Kufandada was fouled just outside the box. Jaravaza's curling effort narrowly missed the target, though it appeared Marion Changa had it covered.

Arenel Movers

A Ngwenya, G Dlodlo, B Gijimani, A Ndlovu, M Jackson, C Chinomona, B Jaravaza, Z Dambo (C Mukuli 75), G Kufandada, C Machisi, T January

Ngezi Platinum

C Marion, K Chigwida, Q Amin, P Moyo, T Benhura ( Musariranwa 68'), Mashaireni (N Tigere 86), L Kashitigu (M Demera 75'),  F Madhanhanga, C Mapoka (Mweha 86), R Hachiro, G Madhake (N Makumbe 68')


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