Ngezi Platinum go top

BULAWAYO - Ngezi Platinum Stars shot back to the top of the Castle Lager Premiership log following yesterday’s 2-1 win over How Mine at Luveve Stadium.

The platinum miners are now on 40 points from 20 matches, one ahead of second-placed Chicken Inn.

Tonderai Ndiraya’s side got their goals from captain Partson Jaure and Terrence Dzvukamanja while Kuda Musharu scored a late consolation for the home side.  

“It was a difficult match for us. We were playing a good and very experienced side. How Mine is a good team coached by a good coach. Tactically I think he is very astute,” Ndiraya said.

“We knew it was not going to be easy for us. We had to plan and I’m glad that our plan worked. We had to dig deep to get a result today.”

How Mine coach Kelvin Kaindu was disappointed with the result which left his side in fifth place and they now trail the log leaders by seven points.

“I think it’s not good for us. Ngezi has beaten us home and away and I think it’s not good for us in terms of trying to stay close to the pack that is on top of the log,” Kaindu said.

“They just took their chances and capitalised. Even in the second half when we thought we were coming a bit stronger, again we conceded.

“I give credit to my team though, we didn’t play according to plan but from their play you can tell the attitude with the players is quite good.”

Ngezi Platinum showed their intentions as early as the first minute. Walter Mukanga’s shot at goal from inside the box was saved by the home side goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya.

The visitors kept on pressing and they were rewarded in the ninth minute when Jaure got to the end of an inch-perfect cross from Tichaona Mabvura to give his side the lead.

Four minutes later, Mabvura had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Philani Ncube after he had been brought down by Makundika Sakala inside the box.

The home side’s game plan was clearly affected by the unavailability of injured defender Kudzai Chideu as Sakala had to start at centre back instead of his regular spot at holding midfield. 

In the second half, How Mine seemed to have improved after the introduction of Peter Moyo and Tsepo Ranthokoane for Marvelous Mukumba and Timothy January.

However, they failed to capitalise on the huge chunks of possession they were enjoying in the middle of the park.

With the match heading toward the end, Ngezi finally increased their lead in the 76th minute when Dzvukamanja scored after he had been set up by James Nguluve.

Chikurupati got their consolation goal in the first minute of added time when Musharu was at the end of a cross from substitute Moyo.

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