By Tadious Manyepo
Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya has praised his charges’ fighting spirit after the team posted an impressive come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Nichrut at Baobab on Saturday.
Donald Teguru struck with 10 minutes on the clock to level the scoresheet after veteran Nichrut midfielder Farai Vimisayi had put the guests 2-1 ahead.
Man-of-the-match Godknows Murwira then scored a wonder free kick from just outside the box to help the hosts seal the maximum points.
Ngezi have now recovered from a disappointing losing streak in which they lost four on the trot, to post three victories on the bounce.
And Ndiraya, whose side took their tally to 48 points in 21 outings, two behind pacesetters FC Platinum, was impressed by his team’s fighting spirit.
And he believes it is such character which can drive his troops to the championship.
“I was quiet impressed with how my charges applied themselves in that come-from-behind win over Nichrut on Saturday,” said Ndiraya.
“After we went 1-2 down, courtesy of that magnificent goal by Farai Vimisayi and with the clock ticking away, my charges kept on believing and indeed they delivered.
“We were not up to scratch in terms of some aspects like defending and our transitional play was also not what we always want to see.
“It was a game that wasn’t so exciting on our part but at this stage of the marathon you cannot always get worried with how you have won.’’
He said sometimes it was important to win all points while playing ugly football.
“Sometimes it’s better to pocket all the points than put more emphasis on playing a good brand,’’ said Ndiraya.
“Of course, we are Ngezi Platinum Stars who want to play an attractive brand of flowing football but we haven’t made our intention to win the league a secret.
“We are a team with good players and we are in the race with leaders FC Platinum as well as the chasing pack.
“With the leaders winning, we also have to grind results to maintain a manageable gap between us.
“Basically, we have to win our own matches and see what happens at the end but it’s quite a tough race.
“It’s not all about Ngezi Platinum Stars and FC Platinum as other teams are still in with a chance.’’
Ngezi was without their new acquisition Simba Nhivi, who joined from CAPS United in the mid-season transfer window, as he is injured.
Nhivi broke his arm in training at the Mhondoro team last week.
Ndiraya hopes Nhivi will recover and play a part before the season comes to a close in November but he maintains he has enough arsenal upfront should Nhivi fail to recover.
“Simba (Nhivi) is a very good striker and that’s why we signed him.
“It’’s unfortunate that he broke his arm before kicking a ball for us.
“We are hoping that he will recover in time to play a part for us before the end of the season.
“But we have equally good strikers on our books who can still bang those goals to help us achieve our targets for this season,” said Ndiraya. The Herald