By Ricky Zililo
A classic Stanley Ngala screamer 30m outside the box in the 34th minute was enough for Bulawayo Chiefs to bag maximum points against a wasteful Harare City in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Luveve Stadium yesterday.
Ngala, who joined Chiefs from First Division side Tsholotsho during the midseason transfer window, is proving to be a good buy for the league debutantes as he scored his third goal in three matches that he has played.
The stocky striker opened his account during his debut game when Chiefs beat Bulawayo City 4-1 last month and was on target last week when his side drew 1-1 away at Chapungu.
In yesterday’s match, Ngala received the ball just after the centre circle, took about three strides, lifted his head and saw City goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanedengu out of his line and hit a ferocious shot that left the visiting goalie stunned.
The victory lifted Chiefs two places up the table to position 10, tied on 26 points with ZPC Kariba and Yadah.
“This was a good win for us. We never thought we were going to win this one because Harare City are a good side. When they beat us in the first leg they were attacking us a lot on the wings and we did well to suffocate their wings. I’m happy with the three points we got,” said Garthly Chipuka, Chiefs’ coach.
City were left to rue more than five clear-cut scoring opportunities, with former Chiefs forward Ishmael Wadi being the chief culprit.
Wadi weaved his way past a number of Chiefs defenders in the 15th minute to come one-on-one with Chiefs goalie David Bizabani who produced a match-winning save to block for a corner the striker’s cheeky chip.
Two minutes later, Wadi found himself at the end of a good build-up but failed to connect with aplomb.
At the half-hour mark, an unmarked City striker Kuda Musharu headed wide a Tatenda Tumba cross from the right.
Chiefs then struck on the 34th minute, with a perfect goal.
City regrouped, and could have equalised through Wadi in the 36th minute but the forward failed to direct his header on target.
The visitors continued with their ball possession dominance but failed to crack Chiefs’ rearguard. City forced 11 corner kicks compared to Chiefs’ two.
However, Chiefs should have buried the game in the 75th minute following a quick counter attack that saw Farau Matare outpace Harare City’s Tendai Samanja before playing the ball to an unmarked Clement Makamba who shot over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
City’s coach Mark Harrison said they are shifting focus to their Wednesday encounter against FC Platinum.
“After four consecutive draws. I had a feeling that this was coming. We dominated play, passed the ball around but failed at the final third. We just have to work on our character and hope for the best result against FC Platinum on Wednesday,” said Harrison. The Chronicle
Bulawayo Chiefs: David Bizabani, Malvin Mkolo, Shadreck Nyahwa, Moses Majika, Andrew Tandi, Sikhumbulani Dube, Takunda Mazuva, Gracious Muleya, Perfect Chikwende, Farau Matare, Stanley Ngala (Clement Makamba, 72nd minute)
Harare City: Maxwell Nyamupanedengu, Tendai Samanja, Takudwa Chimwemwe, Moses Muchenje, Munyaradzi Diro-Nyenye, Denzel Chimwemwe, Kuda Musharu (Wilfred Muvirimi, 63rd minute), Ishmael Wadi, Tatenda Tumba (Tellmore Pio, 46th minute), Protasho Kabwe (Jerry Chipangura, 46th minute), Learnmore Muyambo
Saturday: Chicken Inn 1-1 Ngezi Platinum Stars, Nichrut 0-0 Highlanders, Herentals 0-0 Caps United, FC Platinum 2-0 Chapungu, Black Rhinos 2-0 Bulawayo City
Yesterday: Mutare City Rovers 2-1 Shabanie Mine, Bulawayo Chiefs 1-0 Harare City, Dynamos 1-0 ZPC Kariba, Triangle United 2-1 Yadah