By Lloyd Mwale in MHONDORO
Ngezi Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . (2) 4
Yadah FC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Until the last 10 minutes, the outcome of this game hung in the balance but two late goals calmed the nerves of Ngezi Platinum and powered them to a comprehensive victory over a Yadah side that went into battle without head coach Jairos Tapera.
Reports last night suggested Tapera, who has had a tricky relationship with his employers leading to his suspension earlier this year, had again been axed.
Instead of being at Baobab yesterday, Tapera was, instead, at Rufaro watching the Castle Lager Premiership tie between Harare City and Shabanie Mine.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from the coach failed yesterday as his mobile phone went unanswered amid reports that Highlanders coach Erol Akbay and former AmaZulu gaffer Joey Antipas, who was sacked by the South African club this week, were being lined up for the Yadah job.
Caretaker coach Thomas Ruzive took charge of the team yesterday and the hosts took the lead as early as the third minute when Tichaona Mabvura fired home to silence the noisy batch of travelling supporters.
Walter Mukanga doubled the lead but Yadah could have reduced the deficit in the 18th minute but a Brian Mapfumo effort was blocked by Nelson Chadya in goals for Ngezi.
In the 43rd minute Yadah won a penalty when Liberty Chakoroma handled a Dennis Dauda header and referee Munyaradzi Majoni pointed to the spot with Wellington Kamudyariwa sending Chadya the wrong way.
Yadah made a double change after the resumption with Moses Demera and Munyaradzi Chiwara coming in for Morris Musiyakuvi and Johannes Sibanda.
The move saw the visitors pushing Ngezi back and Rodreck Mutuma’s header in the 75th minute missed the target by inches.
Three games into his Yadah adventure, the maverick forward is yet to score a goal.
Mabvura scored his second goal of the afternoon for Ngezi late in the match and Mukanga then sealed victory with a brilliant shot in the dying stages.
“We played a very determined Yadah but we are proud to collect the three points,’’ said Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya.
‘’We will keep on pushing as the season progresses.’’ Ruzive felt lack of precision in front of the goal was responsible for their downfall.
“We played very well and we were on top of the situation but we failed to convert the chances we got so Ngezi capitalised on our failure to convert their chances,” said Ruzive. The Herald
Ngezi Platinum: N. Chadya, W. Mukanga, T. Dzukamanja, P. Jaure, L. Chakoroma, C. Augusto, G. Murwira, K. Murera, T. Mabvura, E. Tapera, Q. Amini.
Yadah: T. Dube, W. Kalongonda, B. Chikwinya, J. Dzingai, D. Dauda, B. Mapfumo, W. Kamudyariwa, J. Sibanda (M. Chiwara 46th min), R. Mutuma, M. Musiyakuvi (M. Demera 46th min), L. Mavunga.