Ngezi Platinum surrender lead
Ngezi Platinum Stars lost control of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League race after a disappointing home draw against fellow title aspirants Chicken Inn in an entertaining encounter at the Boabab yesterday.
NGEZI PLATINUM . . . (1) 2
CHICKEN INN . . . . . . . (1) 2
The Mhondoro-based side needed a Partson Jaure goal seven minutes from time to rescue a point after Darryl Nyandoro cancelled out Clive Augusto’s opener, before Collins Dhuwa thrust his team ahead.
Pressure is now on coach Tonderai Ndiraya as they head for a blockbuster clash with new leaders FC Platinum in Zvishavane on Saturday.
The result also means that Chicken Inn are all but out of the title race, trailing FC Platinum by six points with two matches to go.
Ndiraya expressed disappointment at losing their position at the top of the log standings ahead of a crucial match against FC Platinum .
“Of course, we are very sad that we dropped two points because we really wanted to win. We are still in it (the title race) though we don’t have control anymore,” he said after the match.
“I think we are still in the mix and we just have to dust ourselves and focus on the next match. We just have to go to Mandava with a bullish mind and try and get a result and by that I mean we just have to win.”
Making full use of home advantage, Ngezi created early chances with Terrence Dzvukamanja, Qadr Amini and Donald Teguru failing to beat Elvis Chipezeze.
The hosts took the lead after half an hour through Clive Augusto following a neat exchange of passes involving Xolisani Moyo and Dzvukamanja, who provided the assist.
Eight minutes later veteran striker Darryl Nyandoro restored parity with a brilliant low left-footed shot from the edge of the box.
Nyandoro showed an eye for goal, shrugging off a challenge, picking his spot through a cluster of Ngezi defenders and finding Takabva Mawaya’s bottom right corner.
Chicken Inn began the second half as the more confident side.
Substitute Dhuwa thrust the former champions into the lead 12 minutes before full-time after some horrendous defending by Moyo, who headed the ball back into the path of the visitors’ forward.
But three minutes later, Ndiraya’s men were back level, captain Jaure rising majestically to head home a Michael Charamba swinging corner kick and ensuring a share of the spoils.
Chicken Inn’s title aspirations are virtually non-existent, but coach Rahman Gumbo refused to give up.
“We are not throwing in the towel until the last game. We are soldiering on and we can’t say we are giving up now when there are two more matches to play,” he said.
Ngezi: T Mawaya, D Tavari (E Mhungu 83’), P Jaure, Q Amini, L Chakoroma, X Moyo, G
Murwira, W Mukanga, D Teguru (M Charamba 59’), C Augusto, T Dzvukamanja (K Bulaji 70’)
Chicken Inn: E Chipezeze, P Bernard (P Madhazi 31’), D Lunga, C Samakweri, M Jackson, C Matawu, B Nyahunzwi, D Nyandoro, G Majika, B Juru (I Muchaneka 70’), O Tarumbwa (C Dhuwa 53)
By Munyaradzi Madzokere