Gunners, Lengthens tied at the Summit of the PSL log
By Ndamu Sandu
Rhinos (0) 1
Sundowns. . . . . (0) 4
Eagles. . . . . . . . (0) 0
Gunners. . . . . . (1) 1
MOSES Chunga-coached Gunners climbed to the summit of the log for the first time since joining top flight football while Sundowns announced their revival with a perfect display on Week 13 of the unbranded Premier Soccer League.
PSL leading goal scorer Norman Maroto’s 25th minute header against Eagles at Rudhaka Stadium thrust Gunners on the top on the log for the meantime pending the outcome of Bantu Rovers-Dynamos duel at Barbourfields Stadium today.
Gunners are tied on 24 points with Lengthens with Chunga’s side enjoying a superior goal difference. At Gwanzura Stadium yesterday, Sundowns clinched their first win in nearly two months in a five-goal thriller after a breathtaking performance tore Rhinos apart.
Sundowns last won a match in April accounting for Dynamos in the Independence Cup final. Such was the display by Sundowns that many were left wondering why the team has managed to collect only 14 points after 13 outings.
The Sundowns revival revolved around a mobile midfield of Warriors’ player Thabani Kamusoko, Dylan Chivandire and Heritian Masuku that won every loose ball. Reigning Soccer Star of the Year Evans Chikwaikwai opened the floodgates after 56 minutes beating an ill conceived offside trap by Rhinos to put the visitors ahead.
With the Rhinos unsettled after conceding the goal, Sundowns pounced again to double their advantage six minutes later. Chivandire won the ball inside the centre circle and picked Chikwaikwai who obliged with a return pass for the former Monomotapa midfielder to put Sundowns further ahead.
Rhinos were shell-shocked and introduced new pair of legs when Givemore Karikuimba came in for Wilson Chakanyuka in a bid to salvage something from the tie. All their hopes of revival were shattered in the 72nd minute when Masuku’s cross was deflected into the nets by the usually reliable skipper, Brighton Chandisaita.
Kamusoko buried Rhinos in the 75th minute while Freeman Ncube scored the host’s face-saver 13 minutes from time. Yesterday’s tie raised questions about the standard of match officiating as the man in the middle was overwhelmed by the occasion.
In the 85th minute, Rhinos’ goalkeeper Brito Gwere was lucky to escape with a yellow card from referee Shelton Mushanguri when he handled Chikwaikwai’s shot outside the box.
Rhinos will be regretting the early chance they missed in the first half when Lazarus Muhoni headed over the bar.- The Zimbabwe Standard