Ngezi Platinum back in business

MHONDORO - Tichaona Mabvura scored a brace to help Ngezi Platinum Stars end their four-game winless run after defeating Triangle United 3-1 yesterday.

The platinum miners, who finished the game with 10 men following a red card to defender Keith Murera, had seen their Castle Lager Premiership title challenge falter after consecutive defeats to Bulawayo Chiefs, FC Platinum, Black Rhinos and Herentals. 

Madamburo are now back in contention as they are now on 41 points from 19 games and trail leaders FC Platinum by only four points. 

The home side’s coach Tonderai Ndiraya was a relived man after the match. 

“It’s been a long time since we got three points and I’m quite happy that we responded in this manner,” he said. 

“We played against a team that is also playing well and this win gives the entire system a big boost.”

Ngezi were a bundle of nerves in the opening minutes possibly because of the losing streak and they could have conceded in the fifth minute.

However, Triangle forward Courage Denias failed to connect with a cross from Phineas Bamusi with only Ngezi keeper Nelson Chadya to beat.

It was a costly miss for the visitors as Ngezi then took the lead in the 21st minute after Mabvura headed home a corner taken by Michael Charamba. 

Five minutes later, it was 2-0 when Malon Mushonga scored with a shot from close range to beat Triangle goalie Tapiwa Chilenga. 

Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro then made two substitutions a few minutes apart with Pasca Manhanga replacing Anelka Chivandire while Lameck Nhamo came in for Denias. 

From there on, the Sugar Sugar Boys were in total control of the game but could not find a way past Chadya. 

In the second half, the visitors totally dominated and reduced the deficit when Collin Duhwa headed home a cross from Russel Madamombe in the half hour mark.

Triangle, however, could not build on the goal as they conceded two minutes later. 

The visitors’ defenders waited for a whistle which did not come from referee Patrick Kalota as they thought Mabvura had used his hand to control the ball. 

The Madamburo winger then unleashed a shot from the edge of the box which beat Chilenga at his near post. 

Even after conceding the third goal, Triangle continued to press on but Chadya was having an inspired afternoon in goal for Ngezi.

The home side had to finish the entire game with a man down after Kalota sent off Murera for elbowing Bamusi, who was racing clear on goal.

Triangle could not use the numerical advantage to get back into the game. 

Mangwiro slammed the home side’s ball boys as they took every opportunity to waste time. 

“A disappointing loss to a very desperate side and I didn’t take kind to the delaying tactics they were employing whereby instead of coaching my team, I ended up being the ball boy,” Mangwiro fumed.

“I didn’t see any ball boy in the second half. Ngezi are one of the best teams in the league but today they were so desperate to get the win. I don’t know where our football is going if we are employing such dirty tactics.”

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