By Thandiwe Moyo in BULAWAYO
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League debutants Chicken Inn and Dynamos played a goalless draw in a match that saw referee Thabani Bhamala flash seven yellow cards and two red cards.
Chicken Inn captain Sikhumbuzo Banda and Dynamos’ Denver Mukamba were given their marching orders in the 22nd and 45th minutes respectively. Banda was sent off for foul language following a tackle on Murape Murape.
With Chicken Inn one man down Dynamos could have taken charge of the game but they too relaxed until one of their own was sent for an early shower.
Mukamba was booked for the second time following a crude tackle on Thomas Chimenya. Bhamala, who had already flashed a number of yellow cards then, did not hesitate to reach into his pockets and send the Dynamos player off.
DeMbare piled on the pressure in the first 27 minutes of the match and Chicken Inn had to summon all their defensive skills to keep the Harare giants at bay.
Dynamos got their first effort at goal in the 10th minute after they won a free kick just outside the Chicken Inn box. Thomas Magorimbo’s shot found Roderick Mutuma inside the box but his powerful header went over the bar.
Chicken Inn 0-0 Dynamos; Motor Action1-0 Monomotapa; Black Mambas 1-3 Shooting Stars; Blue Ribbon 3-3 Shabanie Mine; FC Platinum 3-0 Masvingo; Zimbabwe Saints 1-1 Hwange
In reply, Evans Chikwaikwai’s shot in the 34th minute was not much of a problem for Washington Arubi in goals for Dynamos. The second half was as dull as the first with both teams failing to bring out the best off each other.
“The match was 50-50 match. We really wanted the three points but we lost the plot when the captain was sent off,” said Chicken Inn coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube after the match.
Dynamos assistant coach Ralph Kawondera said they were happy after managing to maintain their unbeaten run.
By Makomborero Mutimukulu
Motor Action coach Joey Antipas hailed his team’s fighting spirit after watching them overcome the first half expulsion of Kuda Musharu to end a four-match Castle Lager Premier Soccer League winless run.
Midfielder Allan Gahadzikwa’s 26th minute header, off an Ocean Mushure cross, carried the day for the champions at Motor Action Sports Club, where referee Nkanyiso Moyo found himself at the receiving end of some Monomotapa vitriol after the final whistle.
Monoz, who played the entire second half with a man’s advantage following the expulsion of Musharu for head- butting Obey Mwerahari, took exception to the free kick that resulted in Motor Action’s goal and the way Moyo waved away their strong penalty appeal on 80 minutes.
While taking some pot shots at the referee, Monomotapa coach Taurai Mangwiro conceded that his outfit, which has drawn 10 and lost three of its 16 matches this season, were off colour.
“It never showed that we had an extra man in the second half,” said Mangwiro.
“The referee made some shocking calls, but we have never had it easy with the match officials at this ground.”
Antipas welcomed a victory that took his team’s points tally to 31, three adrift of log leaders FC Platinum.
“I give my boys the full marks for their battling qualities. We played well and duly took the lead in the first half but were then forced to park the bus in the second half after going a man down.
“Hopefully, this victory will mark the start of a run that will see us being part of the championship equation until the last day of the season,” said Antipas.
Black Mambas…………..1-3…………………Shooting Stars
By Roy Matiki
THREE brilliant first-half goals by Shooting Stars captain Muchineripi Muneri, Kelvin Mawire and Yasser Chapfika were enough to dismiss Black Mambas 3-1 in a thrilling Castle Lager Premiership tie at Morris Depot yesterday.
In the reverse fixture at Sakubva Stadium, Black Mambas defeated Shooting Stars 1-0. Yesterday’s win did not help matters for the Wild Boys, as they remained anchored at the bottom of the log standings.
Shooting Stars’ opening goal came as early as the 10th minute when James Chitereki’s ferocious free kick was acrobatically tipped over for a corner by Learnmore Jere. The resultant corner by Malvin Chipunza met the boot of Muneri, who drilled home.
Black Mambas drew level in the 22nd minute after former Dynamos striker Sebastian Mutizirwa was brought down by Blessing Mazorodze. Kasimero Chimbadzwa’s thunderbolt from an indirect free kick nestled in the top corner.
Shooting Stars picked themselves up again and clawed their way back into the game, regaining the lead in the 27th minute after good build-ups laced with intelligent passes. Chitereki’s delivery was this time drilled home by Mawire.
Five minutes before the breather, Shooting Stars got their third of the afternoon from a Chapfika header. Chitereki’s clever corner kick met the flashing header of Chapfika, who squeezed the ball home past Jere, to make it 3-1.
Shooting Stars mentor Tonderai Marume was elated at revenging the reverse fixture defeat at the hands of Black Mambas.
At Barbourfields, new-look Zimbabwe Saints held on-fire Hwange to a 1-all draw in a Castle Lager Premiership encounter and gave new coaches Edmore Sibanda and Jonathan Chikaponya something to smile about on their first assignment.
Hwange, who are pushing hard under shrewd Zambian mentor Tenant Chilumba, looked on course to catching up with the title-chasing pack when Gilbert Zulu latched on to a fine move and scored the opener in the first half.
But youthful striker Evans Rusike equalised for the Super Saints in the second half and kept the Bulawayo side floating above the relegation waters.
Chikwata assistant coach Chikaponya said as coaches they were satisfied with the outcome.
“We saw good promise from the youngsters we fielded. This is a new team altogether because we discarded the ageing players and brought in fresh pairs of feet. And they are fitting in very well,’’ said the seasoned former star goalkeeper.
Blue Ribbon……………..3-3…………..Shabanie Mine
By Edwin Mwase
SECOND-HALF substitute Caleb Masocha came off the bench to salvage a point for the asbestos miners against Blue Ribbon in a pulsating Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
Tineyi Chitora had earlier on bagged a brace in the 20th and 24th minutes to give the millers a strong start in the first half.
“Tambawakaguta” thought they had it in the bag when former Monoz midfielder Daniel Kamunenga made it three in the 65th minute.
Veteran former Lancashire star midfielder Masocha (74, 89) led the Shabanie revival from the dead with a five-star performance, which kept the paltry crowd entertained for the remaining 35 minutes.
Mario Mabhacho made a bold statement in the 82nd minute when he scored a beauty off a Boniface Dimanji teaser but it was the evergreen Masocha who had the last laugh. Host coach Misheck Chidzambwa blamed the second half lapse in concentration for the draw.
“We thought we had it in the bag when we were leading by three and we got punished,” said Chidzambwa. His Shabanie Mine counterpart, Arnold Jani, was full of praise for his charges.
“I told them that the game is not won until the referee blows his final whistle and I must acknowledge them for the true fighting spirit which they exhibited for the entire 90 minutes,” he said.
By Paul Mundandi in Zvishavane
FC Platinum remained on pole position of the log when they dismissed battling Masvingo 3-0 in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
Coach Rahman Gumbo introduced new signing Mthulisi Maphosa into the team, relegating Norman Togara to the terraces and fused back his captain Zephaniah Ngodzo and the team played such a slick passing game that the scoreline does little justice to their performance.
Maphosa silenced the Masvingo fans in the 83rd minute with one of the best goals scored at Mandava this season.
FC Platinum had gone into the lead as early as the fifth minute through Bekimpilo Ncube. The former Motor Action midfielder rose high to place a corner from Soccer Star of the Year Charles Sibanda with the Masvingo defence ball watching.
Benjamin Marere, as usual full of energy and mesmerising skill, was duly rewarded in the 34th minute after Khumbulani Banda made a solo run on the left and released a powerful cross that Marere squeezed past Masvingo goalie Wonder Peperere, who was fighting a lone battle.
The majority of Masvingo players were registered on Friday afternoon from Division One side Don Bosco to save the situation as senior players maintained their ongoing industrial action due to unpaid salaries. The rookies, however, gave FC Platinum a good game.