Flame Lily . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)1

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Triangle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)0

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TRIANGLE’s storming start to the 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season was arrested at a bumpy Lafarge Stadium yesterday.

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Moses Demera’s strike, two minutes into the second half, gave Flame Lily their first win of the season.

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However, Triangle coach Kelvin Kaindu maintained that his team lost to the pitch and not Nesbert “Yabo” Saruchera’s men.

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“One thing our opponents did was to change the venue to deny us a chance to play our passing game. We had a number of chances that we failed to convert as the surface made it difficult for us to play our game. Our opponents had only two chances that we gifted them and they buried one.

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“Looking at where we played we tried to play a good game. If the PSL have seen it fit to play here then all teams will also have to play here,” Kaindu said.

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With four wins and a draw going into the match, Triangle were expected to run riot over their opponents who came for battle one place shy of anchoring the log.

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The visitors did come out firing with Richard Kawondera coming to within inches of thrusting his team into the lead on 21 minutes.

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Kawondera thought he had got it right on 55 minutes but his celebrations were cut short after referee Munyaradzi Majoni belatedly blew to disallow his effort.

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Majoni ruled the Triangle striker had infringed Flame Lily goalkeeper, Lloyd Majarira, before stabbing the ball into the net.

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It seemed a bizarre decision.

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To their credit Flame Lily maintained a solid defensive shape and made the most of the few chances they created when Demera drilled home the winner.

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Veteran Webster Muronda did the hard work and played on Demera when everyone, including Triangle goalie Ronald Mudimu, expected him to shoot.

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With Mudimu still adjusting to the quick switch of play to the right, Demera slotted the ball into the far corner.

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Kaindu said the challenge for his charges now was to bounce back from their first defeat of the season.

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“We knew that this day will come one day and we have to manage losing well. We have gone for close to 14 games since last season without a loss and this has been due to team effort. Next week we are back at home and we will need to organise ourselves,” he said.

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Saruchera savoured his team’s first win after a difficult start to the season.

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“I am happy and impressed with how the team played. I knew the win would come some day.

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“I don’t think the pitch was bad. We worked hard for the win and I don’t think we won because of the pitch,” Saruchera said.

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Teams

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Flame Lilly: L Majarira, G Phiri, S Jimu, E Madhanaga, R Kawondera, P Chidawaya, T Huwa, M Demera (72’ B Musaka), F Mugumwa (80’ P Chinyama), M Chigova, W Muronda (76’ M Mupande)

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Triangle: R Mudimu, C Rukwanhi, N Melson, J Tigere, E Mwinga, T Chipunza, C Kamhapa, P Manhanga (F Kuswatuka), H Bakacheza, R Kawondera (62’ M Gaki), L Nhamo