Ngezi Platinum close gap at the top

Ngezi Platinum................(1) 1
ZPC Kariba...........................0

NGEZI - Keith Murera scored the solitary strike as Ngezi Platinum Stars beat ZPC Kariba in a Castle Lager Premiership match here yesterday to close the gap on log leaders FC Platinum to just two points.

With eight matches left before the season comes to an end, Ngezi Platinum are now on 57 points while FC Platinum are on 59 points having played the same number of matches.

Madamburo could have beaten ZPC by a bigger margin had they utilised the several chances that came their way especially in the first half before fizzling out in the second half.

In fact, Ngezi should count themselves lucky after surviving a late onslaught by the visitors in the second half as they chose to sit deep to defend their goal.

ZPC threw everything at Ngezi Platinum in those closing stages but they could not find a way through the home side’s defenders.

However, in the end, Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya was satisfied that his side had managed to hold onto the win and keep up pressure on FC Platinum.

“Three points; I’m happy, I think that’s what is important. We were not really ourselves today, we didn’t play really well but I’m happy with the fight, determination and commitment put in by the boys to get the three points,” Ndiraya said after the match.

“I think that’s what is important at this time of the season; collecting maximum points. What we wanted were the three points no matter how we played.

“Yes you want to play well and entertain the fans but I think what is important at this time of the season is to collect maximum points.

“Yes we have reduced the gap but we still have a long way to go. I have said it in the past that there are going to be a lot of twists and turns in the league.”

ZPC Kariba took time to settle and only came into the game towards the last 15 minutes of the match in which they created some decent chances.

Kauya Katuruturu, who remained in 10th place on the log with 33 points from 26 games, were only let down by poor finishing leaving their coach Godfrey Tamirepi a disappointed man.

“It’s a very frustrating defeat. In the first half, we gave a lot of respect to a team that was playing long balls and nothing else,” Tamirepi said.

“We conceded a corner kick which we could have avoided and from that corner kick, we marked badly and we got punished.

“We came back strongly in the second half but we showed a lot of desperation and in the end, we failed to score.”

Ngezi Platinum were the first to settle and went on to cause a lot of problems for the ZPC Kariba defence which looked jittery especially at set-pieces.

The home team duly went ahead on 28 minutes when Murera headed home a Michael Charamba corner kick after he was left unmarked inside the box.

From there, it only looked like a matter of time before Ngezi could add to their tally, however, they were let down by some poor decision making in the final third with the ZPC defence looking out of sorts.

ZPC never made any meaningful attack in the first half with their strikers David Temwanjira and Tawanda Nyamandwe isolated upfront and both were duly substituted in the second half.

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