Tsholotsho stun City

HARARE - The 2015 Castle Premiership kicked off with a bang when newcomers Tsholotsho FC pulled off a stunning victory over the highly-fancied Harare City here yesterday.

Simbarashe Gorogodyo scored the only goal of the match when he beat City goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube with a low shot from inside the box 13 minutes from time.

No one had seen this coming as big spenders City were expected to steamroll past the largely unknown team making their Premiership debut.

After a disappointing 2014 season, City had plunged into the transfer market to reinforce their squad after appointing a star-studded technical team led by former CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro.

City raided CAPS where they lured goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube, midfielder Tendai Samanja together with the duo of striker Honey Chimutimunzeve and winger Nicholas Alifandika, who were on loan from ZRP FC.

They also fortified their defence with the arrivals of Soccer Star of the Year finalist Themba Ndlovu from champions Dynamos and former Kaizer Chiefs centre half Lincoln Zvasiya, who returns home after a stint in Greece.   

All the big name signings except for Zvasiya were involved in yesterday’s match as the ambitious council-owned side anticipated a flying start to their season.

It is against this backdrop that many football pundits and fans expected them to mount a serious title challenge.

Yesterday, they were playing against a team that was only making its first appearance in the country’s top division.

But Lizwe Sweswe’s men were not overwhelmed by the big occasion and displayed a plucky and courageous performance to dislodge.

Before yesterday’s maiden berth, Sweswe had talked about giving his young players a run on the big stage and getting a positive start.

His players did not disappoint as they went toe-to-toe against a City side that could not find an answer to unlocking the Tsholotsho defence.

City’s entire performance can be epitomised by the poor showing by forward Francesco Zekumbawire, who was substituted after only 42 minutes.

After the match, Sweswe said: “I had the confidence that we could win the game. I told my players that football is the same and I’m happy the boys delivered.

“We were the huge underdogs so I just told the boys to go and express themselves. These boys have been together for a long time. It’s always difficult when you are new in the league but I am happy we picked maximum points.”

Mangwiro was disappointed with the loss but still has faith that his team will bounce back from the upset.

“We were our worst enemies,” Mangwiro said after the match. “We did not impose ourselves on our opponents. As a result they grew in confidence and got the much needed goal. I foresee ourselves improving, however, as the season progresses.”

Teams:

Harare City: Tafadzwa Dube, David Kutyauripo, Arnold Chivheya, Themba Ndlovu, Crispen Dickson, Tendai Samanja, Nathan Ziwini (Hebron Makukutu 50 min), Martin Vengesai, Talent Chawapiwa, Honey Chimutimunzeve, Francesco Zekumbawira (William Manondo 42 mins)

Tsholotsho: Chang Mariyoni, MacClive Phiri, Ricky Bota, Thandolwenkosi Ncube, William Stima (Donald Dzvinyai 64 min), Butholezwe Ncube, Ocient Ncube, Simbarashe Gorogodyo (Ayanda Ncube 86 min), Kriess Chitiyo, Nixon Gama, Kudzanai Machazane

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