Ngezi Platinum hand Highlanders first defeat . . . As Dynamos sink to bottom of log

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Tonderayi Ndiraya

Tonderayi Ndiraya

Don Makanyanga
Ngezi Platinum Stars……………….………. 1
Highlanders …………………………………..0
NGEZI Platinum Stars yesterday put some breathing distance between themselves and the rest of the pack as the miners raced to a narrow win over Highlanders at the Baobab Stadium.

The win left the side as the only unbeaten team in the local premiership and furthered their credentials as the team to beat this season. It was Bosso’s first defeat of the season and Madinda Ndlovu will be hoping that his boys recover fast from the disappointment to face Mutare City Rovers at Barbourfields on Tuesday.

Terence Dzvukamanja’s 82nd minute goal proved to be the difference and was only eclipsed by a debutant Steve Owusu who put the league on notice with the all-important assist. The Ghanaian international was introduced in 76th minute, coming for Tichaona Mabvura, and needed only six minutes to introduce himself.

Owusu found an unmarked Dzvukamanja on the right flank, who then fired home the decisive goal of the afternoon.

Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderayi Ndiraya who has not hid his intentions of winning the title this year, said the win was the first step towards their goal of winning the title.

“This was an important win for us. Important in the three points we collected, though we should not get too excited as this is only our eighth game of the season. I must be honest, this was not an easy game for us, but we continue to march on hoping that we will not fizzle out like we did last year,” said Ndiraya.

Bosso coach Ndlovu praised Ndiraya’s charges, but laid some of the blame on his own goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.

“They played very well and scored a very beautiful goal which to me my goalkeeper could have done better to save. It’s always disheartening when your goalie is scored from the near post,” said Ndlovu.

The coach could not hide his feelings over the wet field, calling on responsible authorities to look into the issue.

“These players are human beings who get injured and authorities should look into this issue of watering the field before matches. I am not bothered with it because it’s only a single match, but it’s something worth looking into too,” he said.

Bosso started the game at lighting pace and could have gone a goal up in the second minute of the game but Brian Banda’s free-kick hit the woodwork.

Ngezi Platinum managed to settle soon after, but failed to break the Highlanders backline led by Peter Muduhwa, while at the same time missing several clear cut chances. The resumption of the second half saw Highlanders regain control, with Newman Sianchali the closest to getting a goal for Highlanders.

Meanwhile, the situation is getting dire for former champions Dynamos who are now at the bottom of the log. With ZPC Kariba securing an away 1-1 draw against Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium yesterday and Dynamos only facing Bulawayo City at Rufaro this afternoon, the Glamour Boys are at the bottom of the pile. ZPC Kariba are 17th with four points while Dynamos, yet to record a win in seven matches anchor the log.