Home » General » Bosso, ZPC Share Spoils

HIGHLANDERS assistant coach Mark Mathe says the underdogs tag has suited ZPC Kariba well early in the season after Saul Chaminuka’s men staged a swift comeback in the second half to settle for a share of the spoils against the Bulawayo giants in a Castle Lager Premiership soccer match at Gwanzura yesterday.

ZPC Kariba have had a fairytale run in their first season in the top-flight league as they staged a brave fight yesterday to remain unbeaten after seven games and denying Highlanders the opportunity to climb back to the top of the table.

Bosso captain Innocent Mapuranga miscued his clearance into his own nets to cancel out teammate Erick Mudzingwa’s 60th minute goal, which had appeared to tilt the game in their favour after an hour of exciting dose of football from both sides.

However, Mathe was happy with his team’s performance and also gave credit to the hosts for their resilience.

Chaminuka’s team have managed to overcome a poor pre-season and, with no one giving them a chance, they have become a force to reckon with in the league, especially after successfully defending their fort against top teams like CAPS United, Dynamos, FC Platinum and Harare City.

Mathe said ZPC Kariba do not deserve to be called debutants in the Premiership since they have a host of experienced players at the top level and a g technical team that has established names in local football like team manager Partson Ndabambi and assistant coaches Godfrey Tamirepi and Tembo Chuma.

“I think it’s a fair result. ZPC Kariba have done well up to now because if you look at their team they have seasoned players and a very good coach in Saul Chaminuka.

“So we had always expected a tough match coming here and please don’t quote me wrong here, I believe ZPC Kariba are thriving on the underdog tag that has been placed on them.

“It’s working well for them. These so-called small teams always tend to fight more when they come up against the established sides,” said Mathe.

Highlanders were on top of the table going into the weekend’s fixtures but have slumped two places down the ladder as Hwange shot back to the top yesterday after dislodging overnight leaders How Mine.

Mathe said it was unfortunate they conceded an own-goal and was also not happy with his team’s finishing after their forwards missed a couple of chances from good scoring opportunities.

Charles Sibanda failed to take aantage when Ephraim Mwinga made shoddy work of an aerial ball in the 13th minute as goalkeeper Tendai Hove, who was impressive again yesterday, made a blinder of a save from close range.

ZPC Kariba always had enough men behind the ball and they did well to shut out Kuda Mahachi, Sibanda and Ozias Zibande who had a quiet game upfront. Highlanders were forced to make an injury induced substitution when Simon Munawa limped off the pitch and was replaced by Felix Chindungwe a few minutes into the second half.

ZPC Kariba’s roving right-back Obey Mwerahari and midfielder Raphael Manuvire were always a problem to the Highlanders rearguard but the Bulawayo giants applied more pressure and were rewarded when Mudzingwa headed home from a corner taken by second half substitute Milton Ncube on the hour mark.

The hosts, however, responded quickly as they smothered the pressure. Manuvire made a good run in the opposition’s territory and Mwerahari was quick to latch on to the loose ball as he released a cracking shot that bounced off the post.

Substitute Artwell Nyamiwa responded quickly in the ensuing melee and in a desperate attempt to clear his lines, Mapuranga was caught on the wrong foot as he turned the ball into his own nets.

ZPC Kariba coach Chaminuka was happy with the team’s performance, which left them sitting in fourth position and level with Highlanders on 13 points.

“The way we came back into the game shows we are a team that has character. Highlanders led and we didn’t give up the fight. It shows there is something in us,” said Chaminuka.

“We had a very poor preparation during the pre-season and now we have played seven games and are unbeaten. We lacked fitness and now I think we have that strength and we are now aiming for a top eight finish although a top four is still possible. Probably next year we may come to compete for the championship if we continue in this vein,” said Chaminuka.

Teams

ZPC Kariba: T. Hove, O. Mwerahari, P. Muzondo, E. Mwinga, D. Dauda, T. Munyanduri, L. Makura (A. Nyamiwa, 55th minute), R. Manuvire, T. Ranthokoane, L. Chikafa, T. Nyamandwe (D. Rediyoni, 55th minute)

Highlanders: A. Sibanda, B. Kangwa, S. Munawa (F. Chindungwe, 62nd minute), D. Ndlovu, I. Mapuranga, E. Mudzingwa, W. Ndiweni (C. Dube, 83rd minute), J. Ngodzo (M. Ncube, 53rd minute), K. Mahachi, C. Sibanda, O. Zibande

Source : The Herald

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