Ngezi shine, cops misfire

Ngezi Platinum Stars..........(0)1
Highlanders...........................0

BAOBAB STADIUM - Ghanaian import Steven Owusu had a debut to remember when he rose from the bench to set up Terrence Dzvukamanja’s winning goal for new side Ngezi Platinum Stars against Bosso yesterday. 

However, once again police showed their poor crowd control mechanisms when they needlessly fired teargas to disperse Bosso fans who had attacked one of the home side’s fans after the final whistle.

Ngezi have had to wait for over seven weeks in order to get Owusu’s paperwork in order first before he could feature for Tonderai Ndiraya’s side.

It was worth the wait because the former Berekum Chelsea forward needed only six minutes on the pitch before providing the final pass that split the Bosso defence.

Dzvukamanja then raced through on goal before firing in a low shot that beat Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda at his near post.

It is always a cardinal sin for the goalkeeper to concede at his near post and Sibanda will probably be the first to admit that he could have done better.

With yesterday’s win, Madamburo now have a five-point lead at the top of the table with 22 points.

Bosso dropped to third place with 17 points despite suffering their first defeat of the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership season.

Ndiraya was pleased by how his players remained composed before finally getting the precious goal that kept their unbeaten run intact.

“I’m quite excited for the boys because of the amount of effort they have put in today,” Ndiraya said.

“Look it wasn’t an easy match, we had to dig deep to get this result but what is important is to get the three points.

“I thought we were in control of the game. In the first half we lacked that final pass because we were dominating possession.”

Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu was disappointed with the slippery Baobab Stadium pitch.

“It’s a game that we lost today but there are quite a number of things that need to be looked at by the powers that be,” Ndlovu said.

“We cannot play football in such conditions; these players are also human beings and they can get hurt.

“But coming to the game; it was an evenly balanced game but signs were there that we might not get a result.

“We hit the post twice; playing away from home and you hit the post twice, it will always be tough.

“You cannot water the pitch to this extent on the day of the game. I’m not bothered with this result because of the state of the pitch, it’s one game out of 34.”

Ndlovu’s post match press conference was, however, interrupted as fans started fleeing from the teargas fired by an overzealous police officer, who was trying to stop two Bosso fans from attacking a Ngezi Platinum fan.

Turning to the game, Ndlovu was right about his team being unlucky in front of goal.

The visitors should have opened the scoring in the second minute but they were denied by the crossbar.

Brian Banda’s free kick from the edge of the box went off the wall but ricocheted off the woodwork with Ngezi Platinum goalkeeper Donovan Bernard scrambling across the line.

Moments later, the home side attacked down the right with Clive Augusto beating Peter Muduhwa but there was no one to finish off his cross after Sibanda had parried.
Kieth Murera then shot over after the Bosso defence had skewed their clearance.

Former Ngezi Platinum defender MacClive Phiri almost punished the home side when his free kick missed Bernard’s upright by a few inches.

From there on, the home side began to take control of the game and Dzvukamanja should have scored but headed Walter Mukanga’s cross just wide.

Mukanga came close with a free kick just before half-time but Sibanda did well to tip it over the crossbar for a corner kick.

In the second half, the two teams were evenly balanced as they searched for the breakthrough goal.

Ngezi captain Liberty Chakoroma was almost left with egg on his face when he lost possession but Bosso forward Godfrey Makaruse shot straight at Bernard.

Bosso had another good chance to score but Newman Sianchali’s shot was pushed onto the crossbar by Bernard before it went back into play.

That was the cue for Ndiraya to make the change as he hauled off Tichaona Mabvura for Owusu in the 76th minute.

The Ghanaian did not need much time before he made the telling contribution when he got ahead of Peter Muduhwa before releasing Dzvukamanja to race clear on goal.

Teams:

Ngezi Platinum: Donovan Bernard, Frank Mukarati, Liberty Chakoroma, Keith Marera, Kelvin Bulaji, Tichaona Chipunza, Xolosani Moyo, (Jimmy Ngulube 69m), Walter Mukanga, Tichaona Mabvura ( Steven Owusu 76m), Terrence Dzvukamanja, Clive Augusto (Malon Mushonga 88m)

Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Peter Muduhwa, Charlton Siamalonga, MacClive Phiri, Honest Moyo, Adrian Silla (Thabo Lunga 85m), Ben Musaka, Brian Banda, Godfrey Makaruse (Ozias Sibanda 66m), Gabriel Nyoni, Newman Sianchali.

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