Monoz banking on Nyamandwe's return

HARARE - Monomotapa hope the return of striker Tawanda “Finger” Nyamandwe from injury will reignite their Castle Lager Premiership title charge that appears to be going off the rails.

Nyamandwe, who was injured last month and missed the last three league matches against FC Platinum, Shabanie Mine and Blue Rangers, is expected to start training next week.

In his absence the 2008 champions have dropped four points in the last three matches which has seen them fall to fourth place on the log with 37 points from 21 matches.

Monomotapa are now nine points behind log leaders Dynamos, who extended their lead at the top after beating City 1-0 yesterday.

On Tuesday, Biggie Zuze’s men squandered a first half lead to draw 1-1 with relegation threatened Rangers at Gwanzura Stadium.

Assistant coach Nkululeko Dhlamini said: “Obviously, we registered 30 players but Tawanda can make the difference when he comes back. Next week we are hoping he starts training with the team. We are not talking of the championship yet, but we are hoping to win all our remaining games.”

If they are to collect maximum points in their remaining matches, Monoz definitely need the big forward to be firing once again.

Against Rangers, they were very dominant in the first half and squandered numerous scoring opportunities.
On the few occasions they found the target, Rangers goalkeeper Pedzisai Gumiremhete was there to thwart the danger.

The Harare side have definitely missed Nyamandwe, who has struck a good partnership with Tuesday’s striking partner Kuda Musharu.

“I think our main weakness was upfront. We did everything well but where it matters most upfront, that is where we fell shot,” Dhlamini said.

“It was a game of two halves. We had our chances in the second half and we scored one. They came at us in the second half and were able to get the equaliser.”

Monomotapa paid the prize as Rangers emerged from the break a different side after the introduction of 16-year-old Phillip Nelson and McDonald Motsi for the off-colour duo of Hillary Chombe and Scholar Hadebe.

Nelson and Motsi’s pace began to unsettle the Monomotapa defence of Morgen Mungombe and Jimmy Tigere.

After a subdued first half, Rangers winger Norest Mkwezaramba came alive and began combining well with the two substitutes.

It was no surprise when the home the side found the equaliser through Mkwezaramba, who completed a wonderful counter attacking move by firing his shot into Monoz goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi’s bottom corner.

In the end the former champions ended up repelling a lot of attacks from a spirited Rangers side that was guilty of failing to utilise the scoring chances they engineered in the second period.

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