It's the Zimbo Diski

HARARE - The South African Premiership resumed after the international break on Tuesday night with Zimbabweans Tendai Ndoro, Tapuwa Kapini, Marshall Munetsi, George Chigova and Charlton Mashumba grabbing the headlines with their performances.

Red-hot Orlando Pirates forward Ndoro was ultimately the leader of the pack with his brace, as the Sea Robbers maintained their perfect league start with a 2-1 away win over Ajax Cape Town.

Ndoro had began his Super Diski campaign with a hat-trick against Golden Arrows late last month and he was in sharp form again on Tuesday night.

The former Chicken Inn forward opened the scoring for the Ghosts when he combined with Mpho Makola to beat the Urban Warriors goalkeeper Brandon Petersen in the 36th minute.

Two minutes later, Ndoro scored Pirates’ second of the match and his fifth strike from two matches when he rounded off Petersen from an Oupa Manyisa through ball before side-footing into an empty net.

Nathan Pulse pulled a goal back for the home side seven minutes after the break but the Sea Robbers were able to hold on for their second win of the season.

Pirates coach Mushin Ertugral was full of praise for the Zimbabwean, whom he described as “deadly” after the match.

“Tendai (Ndoro) for me is a star player. You get these special characters and you have to treat these types of players differently,” Ertugral told SA media.

“He has that spark in front of goal … but for me the biggest problem was that he played for Zimbabwe, and only arrived back on Thursday, so he was very tired.

“But he has that sense of when to go, and when to stay, and when he gets into a one-versus-one situation in front of goal, he’s deadly, and understands the lines of opponents very well.

“We work on patterns in training according to his movements and how he’d like to receive the ball, and he’s getting better and better with that — he’s very quick in executing that. When it comes to one-versus-one, he always scores, and I’m very pleased to have a player like that.”

In Johannesburg, it was another Zimbabwean show at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa where Highlands Park were making their Super Diski debut against fellow promoted side Baroka FC.

Munetsi gave Baroka the lead when he beat Kapini from the spot in the eighth minute but there was more drama to follow as referee Victor Gomes took centre stage.

After Zambian Collins Mbesuma had equalised for the Lions in the 32nd minute, Gomes awarded the visitors another spot kick a few minutes before the break.

Munetsi, who is on loan at Baroka from Orando Pirates, again stepped up to take the penalty for the visitors.

This time around his penalty was well-saved by Kapini as the two teams went into the break tied.

Mashumba then gave Highlands Park the lead 11 minutes after the restart but Gomes gave Baroka another lifeline in the 70th minute.

He awarded Baroka a third penalty after a hand ball incident and Bakgaga’s skipper Olaleng Shaku took responsibility from Munetsi.

Once again Kapini made the save to protect his side’s lead and was deservedly named Man-of-the-Match.

After the match, Highlands Park coach Allan Freese said: “I’m happy that we played at home and we got the three points. But I think ... Kapini was Man-of-the-Match. With three penalties, he saved two, very good. I think we used our game plan correctly. We came back well and if you look at the last couple of minutes, we started to dominate which is good at home.”

Another Zimbabwean goalkeeper Chigova was also named Man-of-the-Match after starring in his side’s (Polokwane City) goal-less draw against Bidvest Wits.

City had to play the rest of the second half a man short after Thapelo Tshilo was sent off just before the break.

Chigova went on to make a string of brilliant saves in the second period as Rise and Shine had to dig deep to keep the Clever Boys at bay.

“We knew when one of our men got sent off it was going to be hard playing with 10 men with their quality,” Chigova told SuperSport after the match.

“But we told ourselves in the changing room, this is the time to fight. There’s no time to cry, the ref has made his decision. We need to come back and fight for the team.

Chigova added: “I can say I made saves but the team worked hard to achieve this. I didn’t do it on my own. We knew coming to this game Wits are quality, so we had to apply ourselves properly in order for us to get the result here.”

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