BY HENRY MHARA IN MHONDORO NGEZI
Ngezi Platinum . . . . . . (2) 5
Byo City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . … 0
NGEZI Platinum Stars served notice of their title intentions with a crushing win over Bulawayo City in a one sided contest at Baobab Stadium as the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League enjoyed a return to full swing after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Anelka Chivandire’s sixth minute opener sandwiched Nyasha Chintuli’s hattrick before debutant Walter Vuwa added a fifth late on as the Mhondoro side sent a clear message of what they want to do this season.
Their coach Rodwell Dhlakama was, however, modest about his side’s performance in the emphatic victory.
“The chances of winning the league are bright if I want to be honest. We have played champions FC Platinum in the Chibuku Super Cup and also Chicken Inn, who finished second and we are happy with the competence of our squad,” Dhlakama said.
“But that alone should not give us confidence that we are going to win the league.
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“We need to continue working hard and make sure that we get the required result at the end of the season.”
Ngezi Platinum Stars are earmarked as one of the sides most likely to challenge for the title and they did nothing to suggest otherwise as they brushed aside the challenge of City with brutal efficiency.
Chivandire got things started early on when he bundled the ball over the line after Chintuli’s long range effort had crushed against the bar and rebounded back into play.
Chintuli doubled the advantage on 25th minute when he shot past goalkeeper Bhekimpilo Ncube, who was unfortunately substituted 10 minutes later after dislocating his shoulder. The goalie was rushed to a local hospital.
Denver Mukamba had earlier on also hobbled off for Ngezi with a suspected hamstring injury.
Things got better for the home side on 52nd minute when Chintuli scored his brace, tapping home after sub goalkeeper Aron Ngwenya had failed to gather a Valentine Kadonzvo shot.
The goalkeeper was at fault for the fourth when he failed to collect another Kadonzvo shot, and Chintuli followed up on the rebound to sweep the ball home on 64th minute.
Vuwa was introduced on 72nd minute for his senior debut, and a minute later, he was celebrating a goal that laid bare the huge gulf between the two sides.