BULAWAYO CHIEFS.................. (1)2
A LAST-GASP equaliser from Michael Tapera sealed a second position finish for Manica Diamonds after they came back from behind to hold Bulawayo Chiefs at Luveve Stadium Saturday afternoon in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match.
Tapera, who was a thorn in the flesh for Chiefs the whole afternoon down the wing, benefited from miscommunication between Chiefs defenders and controlled a back pass before firing past an out-drawn Tinotenda Chaviringa deep Into the referee's optional time.
Chiefs players thought they had done enough to secure victory but a lapse in concentration was their major undoing.
The Gem boys who were on the road for all their 34 matches this season as their stadium Sakubva failed to meet the PSL standards, ended the season on 58 points. Manica coach Jairos Tapera was on cloud nine after the game, fully aware that Dynamos who were on 57 points had lost to Yadah.
"Overall, I think it was a difficult game. We were chasing the game all the time. We stretched ourselves to equalise but I'm happy for the team and everybody at Manica Diamonds. It has been a very difficult and hectic year for us. You can imagine we have been traveling all season but we managed to finish on this position," said Tapera.
Besides Manica Diamonds chasing a top-two finish, the other battle was between Obriel Chirinda and Fortune Binzi who were both gunning for the golden boot as Chiefs had nothing to play for, but pride.
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Chiefs coach Johannes Nhumwa praised his charges for a spirited show. "We should have wrapped the game earlier on, but I want to thank my boys. "They are playing good football and as you can see we have introduced youngsters; Under 20 players, about three, four of them. That's part of the game," said Nhumwa.