Ngezi lose ground

Ngezi Platinum...............0

HARARE - Not even a change of coaching personnel could inspire Ngezi Platinum Stars to overcome the so-called “small teams” hoodoo after they were held to a disappointing draw by Chapungu in a Castle Lager Premiership tie yesterday.

It was Clifton Kadurira’s first game in charge since taking over from Tonderai Ndiraya two weeks ago.

The change, however, did little to inspire his charges to secure maximum points to stay in the hunt for their maiden title.

Ndiraya was shown the exit door following a defeat to bottom side Bulawayo City.

With Ndiraya gone, Kadurira, who got the team promoted in to the Premier League from Division One back in 2016, was thrown in the deep end.  

Yesterday’s result left the ambitious Mhondoro-Ngezi-based side trailing log leaders FC Platinum by a massive seven points with four matches to go after the reigning
league champions beat Nichrut 1-0 at Ascot Stadium yesterday.

Madamburo remain in second place with 61 points while Pure Platinum Play moved to 68 points.

In yesterday’s match, Ngezi only have themselves to blame after creating a glut of scoring chances only to be let down by James Ngulube and Donald Teguru.

On the flip side, Ngezi could count themselves lucky after Chapungu seized the initiative in the second half but just like the hosts, they failed to bury their chances with Ian Nyoni and Allan Tavarwisa causing all sorts of problems for the home side.

Kadurira put up a brave face after the match but was at pains to justify himself if he can really wrestle the title from FC Platinum.

“We played very well. We created a lot of chances but we couldn’t bury them,” he said.

“I think in the next game, we will work on our finishing so that we can finish off those chances. It’s still game on, there are still four matches to be played and anything is possible.

“For us, we will have to take it each game at a time and collect maximum points.”

For Chapungu, the draw saw them drop to 13th place on the log with 34 points and are still not safe from the chop as they are just two points above the relegation zone.

“I think it was a game of two halves, I think we could have won had we converted our chances in the second half,” Chapungu coach Rodwell Dhlakama said.

“But we welcome the point. It was a vital point especially considering that we were playing away from home.”

Ngezi had started on the front foot and could have taken the lead as early as the second minute only for Teguru to send his effort way over the bar with only the goalkeeper Talbert Shumba to beat following a perfect cross from Tichaona Mabvura.

It was the same story throughout the half as they took turns to miss some glorious opportunities.


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