Home » General » 14 Games, No Defeat . . . You Got to Love the Newboys ZPC Kariba

FOURTEEN games, no defeat and not even the cauldron of the Colliery could suffocate the giant-killers ZPC Kariba who took their Cinderella tale in the Castle Lager Premiership to another level by powering their way to a sensational victory here yesterday.

If we have been thinking that this homeless bunch of footballers, who play their home games on the neutral fields of Harare because renovations at their stadium in Kariba haven’t been completed, isn’t writing a special story, believing that their bubble will soon burst, then we have to think again.

There is nothing special in winning just five games in 14 matches because Buffaloes, who are in 10th place on the table and only four points above the final relegation slot, have also won five games so far this season and could make it even half-a-dozen by the time they play their 14th game this season.

But, for a new team in the Premiership, there is something special about going undefeated, in your first 14 games of the season, and ZPC Kariba opened another chapter in their fairytale ride by beating the coalminers in their backyard yesterday.

By the time they reached the 14th game mark last season, How Mine had lost FIVE games, Triangle had lost SEVEN games, Black Rhinos had lost SIX games and Tripple B had lost NINE games.

Two first half goals by Artwell Nyamiwa in the 22nd minute and veteran Limited Chikafa, 12 minutes later, ensured the Kariba side continued floating in glory as the season inches towards the halfway mark.

Even the absence of head coach, Saul Chaminuka, and his assistant, Godfrey Tamirepi, from the technical bench, could not disturb the league newboys’ rhythm as it became crystal clear that ZPC Kariba are bent on writing their own piece of history this year.

At the end of an afternoon that went horribly wrong for stand-in coach Brian Njovu, it was the coalminers who were left licking their wounds as the wheels are surely coming off in their quest to land their first ever league crown.

Losing three games in a row is a bad run, by any standards, and the look on the faces of the passionate home fans told a big story of pain and anguish after the match. The home side got the first realistic chance in the 10th minute when in-form Evans Rusike, made a darting run on the right flank before releasing Isaac Masame, who disappointed by directing his effort high.

Not to be outdone, the gritty newboys launched their first onslaught a few minutes later when midfield magician Pride Tafirenyika released Chikafa, whose dangerous hard and low cross intended for a well positioned Nyamiwa was smothered by goalkeeper Takabva Mawaya.

In the 20th minute, another piece of magic by Tafirenyika in the middle of the park saw him releasing an on-rushing Moses Makanje who, however, produced a lame effort which never bothered Mawaya.

Hwange’s Rodwell Chinyengetere had a good opportunity to put his team into the lead but he shocked everyone by completely missing a delicate Masame cross inside the ZPC Kariba box.

ZPC Kariba then raced into the lead in the 24th minute after a long ball flighted from the midfield saw Nyamiwa outpacing lanky David Boriwondo before unleashing a left footed volley which beat an outdrawn Mawaya all systems out.

The hosts tried to level matters 10 minutes from the break after the impressive Farai Vimisai broke loose on the right and sent in a defence-splitting cross which was connected by striker Newman Sianchali but the young player failed to beat goalkeeper Tendai Hove from close range.

Hardly a minute after Sianchali was denied, ZPC Kariba sent the coalminers to the electric chair with a second goal by Chikafa, which came as a result of the two centrebacks — David Boriwondo and Maqhawe Mpofu — preferred ahead of captain Gerald Ndlovu, sleeping on duty.

A quick exchange of passes by Tafirenyika and Makanje at the edge of the box saw the latter releasing Chikafa, who was allowed all the time in the world to control the ball, turn and bang home under no challenge.

Mpofu was spared more agony in the heart of defence as he was stretchered off moments after the goal and was replaced by captain Ndlovu, who found the damage already done.

Njovu must have read the riot in the dressing room at halftime as the coalminers came back charging like a wounded buffalo but they continued knocking on locked doors as the defence, well marshalled by Hwange-born Ephraim Mwinga and Peter Muzondo, repelled every attack thrown at them.

Just five minutes after the restart, anchorman Andrew Tshuma and leftback Munyaradzi Mungadzi, embarked on a lovely two-man move but the beneficiary of their donkey work, Rusike, missed the left upright by a few inches with Hove beaten clean.

Sensing that his day in the hot seat was turning into a big nightmare, Njovu dragged out Sianchali in the 63rd minute for veteran Gilbert Zulu, who tried all his best but to no avail.

Vimisai, who was doing all the running for the home team, was surprisingly pulled out 20 minutes from time for speed merchant Tafara Chese, but the double change could not help Hwange.

Chipangano’s last chance to pull one goal back then came in the 80th minute when Chinyengetere, who had a quiet game by his standards, roasted two ZPC Kariba defenders on the left flank before laying a sitter for Masame, who produced a wild shot fit for the boozers’ matches.

Njovu wore a brave face in the aftermath of a morale-shattering loss at home.

“We let ourselves down by conceding those first half goals as we ended up chasing the game. We tried to come back but it was not our day but this is done and dusted, who says we can’t win the next game?

“We will soldier on, we don’t run away from the bullet,” said Njovu.

ZPC Kariba assistant coach Oliver Mataba, was all smiles after the game.

“We read Hwange’s game against CAPS and came very prepared,” said Mataba.

“Most teams underrated us as we came from Division One but it will be a long time before we lose a game.

“More surprises will continue coming from these boys who are hard workers.”


HWANGE: T Mawaya M Mungadze P Dube D Boriwondo M Mpofu(G Ndlovu 40th minute) A Tshuma R Chinyengetere I Masame E Rusike N Sianchali(G Zulu 63rd min) F Vimisai(T Chese 69th min)

ZPC KARIBA: T Hove P Muzondo M Makanje(N Mukwezaramba 90th min) E Mwinga A Nyamiwa T Munyanduri P Tafirenyika D Phiri (T Chikede75th min) T Rantohokaone L Chikafa (T Nyamandwe 86th min) D Daudi

Source : The Herald